Coast Police Plan To Ensure A Safe Mardi Gras

Shouting for beads and having a good time is what Mardi Gras is all about, but coast police stay busy making sure that revelers are safe during the party and this year, they'll have something extra to think about.

"Since September 11th, the way that every law enforcement and emergency response personnel handles calls today, that's always in the back of their mind," Gulfport Police spokesman Alfred Sexton said.

"9-11 is going to be in the back of our minds anytime, not just in Biloxi, but anywhere there's going to be a large crowd or a large event planned," Biloxi Police spokesman Jackie Rhodes said.

This year, Biloxi Police plan to add a few extra officers on Fat Tuesday, but have no plans to ask for help from the National Guard. Between 200 and 250 uniformed and plain clothes officers will be on patrol along the parade route.

Officers will be "watching for any suspicious activities, suspicious packages, unusual vehicles in unusual places, just heightened state of security," Rhodes said.

Gulfport Police plan to have the same number of officers this year as last. They say people should not worry about terrorism, they should go out and enjoy the parades.

"We need to echo what President Bush has said in many of his addresses that America, we have to continue going on with our daily lives and our daily activities as the war on terror continues," Sexton said.

Police know they'll be busy on February 12th, as they are every Mardi Gras, but they say it's all worth it, so the coast can carry on a tradition.