DeSoto County Sheriff asks lawmakers to allow radar guns

DeSoto County Sheriff asks lawmakers to allow radar guns

DESOTO COUNTY, MS (WMC) - Speeding drivers in DeSoto County pay no attention to deputies armed with radar guns because they know officers can't stop them.

DeSoto County Deputy Greg Smith caught several speeders, including an 18-wheeler going 62 miles per hour in an area where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour.

Even though almost every sheriff's department in Mississippi can't use radar to catch speeders, city police departments in DeSoto, like Southaven and Olive Branch, can.

DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco is asking lawmakers to reconsider the statute and allow him to use radar, too.

"My biggest concern is our juveniles know we do not have radar," said Rasco. "They just go by us just like they don't care."

Some residents are on edge, too. Cathy Larsen lives by several schools in the Center Hill area and often calls deputies to report drivers putting children at risk.

"We have buses that stop regularly on bus routes on Center Hill Road," explained Larsen. "There's hills you can't see over."

Even though the sheriff's department can't use radar, they still try to prevent people from driving too quickly.

Deputies can use radar trailers that give them an idea how fast people are going with a printout. The most recent printout from September 2014 shows that around 96 percent of drivers went over the speed limit.

"We've got 497 square miles that we patrol, and you know people are going to speed," said Smith.

Some believe radar would just be a way for the county to raise revenue, but Rasco promises his main concern is saving lives, not collecting money.

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