New Moss Point Law Sparks Out-of-Town Interest

Biloxi Resident Frederick Gaston has heard good things about Moss Point.

"My brother started here in January 07, and he gave me a lot of feedback on the department, on how it was growing."

And with the new residency requirement in place, Gaston is now a part of that growth.

"Post-Katrina, the living expenses have increased greatly. It would have created a great hardship on me to move," Gaston said.

Gaston is just one of the "out-of-towners" who can now wear a Moss Point badge.

Early this month, the city gave its okay for Police Chief Demetrius Drakeford and Fire Chief Mike Dale to recruit people living within a 50 miles radius of the city.

"We have hired about three to five people," Drakeford said.

And Chief Drakeford says the more manpower on the streets, the better.

"We are pushing about 2,000 calls a month, so you have to have officers to accurately respond to those calls. And not only respond to them, but put in the time needed per call."

Chief Dale says his firefighters are also important to the safety of the citizens. That's why he is eager to fill four empty slots.

"By getting back up to full manpower, that will decrease our overtime, and that will have a positive influence on our budget," Dale said.

Dale hopes that getting the word out about the new residency requirement will spark the interest of qualified firefighters from around the coast.

"It gives people in Harrison County, who may want be to a fireman and could not get on at Biloxi or Gulfport, the opportunity to come over here."

Dale and Drakeford say that's a move in the right direction, towards a safer Moss Point.

For more information on the vacant positions, call Moss Point City Hall at (228) 475-0300.