More officers could soon use radar in DeSoto Co. - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

More officers could soon use radar in DeSoto Co.

DeSoto County could become only the second county in Mississippi to use radar to catch speeders on county roads. DeSoto County could become only the second county in Mississippi to use radar to catch speeders on county roads.

(WMC-TV) - DeSoto County could become only the second county in Mississippi to use radar to catch speeders on county roads.

Not all officers in Mississippi have the power to write tickets.  Now, only state troopers or city police are allowed to run radar, but state lawmakers hope to soon change that.

DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco said he hopes the change is made.

"We can give them a ticket for reckless driving, but we can't give them a ticket for speeding," said Rasco.

Rasco said the bill would finally allow all officers to write tickets and help cut down on deadly accidents.

"We have 2,600 calls in the last two and a half years on speeders on our highways, subdivisions, and stuff like that," said Rasco.  "We do have concerned citizens who are concerned about speed just like we are."

While other city police officers across the state check for speeders daily, their radar is limited to city streets.  There are roads in DeSoto County that go unchecked because they are located in the county, where sheriff's deputies have to clock speeders.

"Sheriff's department is the prime law enforcement in this county, so why can't we have a radar?" asked Rasco.

Rasco said he believes the bill authorizing sheriff's departments to use radar would make Mississippi safer.  

More officers running radar could also generate more revenue for the state, but Rasco said it is not about the money.

"All the sheriff's in the smaller counties think it's a political thing," said Rasco.  "They think it'll be used for radar traps, money pits, or make money.  Our opinion is not to make money in the county.  This is to save lives."

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