DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (localmemphis.com) - The fight to run radar continues. DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco has been trying to slow down speeders since he took office more than ten years ago. He has said in order to do that, his deputies need radar. But Mississippi lawmakers have voted against it every year, including this year.
Local 24's Tish Clark talked to a DeSoto deputy who sees first hand how speeders ignore the speed limit.
Those opposed to deputies running radar have claimed it's just a way for the county to rake in more money. DeSoto County deputies say it's not about setting up a speed trap. They want to stop roadways from being a death trap, especially for teenagers.
"During Sheriff Rasco's first term there were seven kids killed due to speeding,” says deputy Alex Coker, the Public Information Officer for the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department. "Teenagers know we don't have radar and they're zipping by."
Coker says the fight to run radar is strictly about slowing people down, and saving lives.
"People think this is all about scheming up and trying to make some money. This isn't about making money. All right. This is about slowing people down."
Coker recently posted a Facebook video featuring Sheriff Bill Rasco using a radar gun to clock speeders. They wanted to make a statement.
"We get speeding complaints all the time,” says Coker. “And we're constantly getting emails, ‘hey we got speeders in the community, can you get them to slow down?’ We can park our car there. And we can wave at ‘em but that's about it."
Several Sheriff's in other Mississippi counties have joined Rasco's crusade. Out of 82 counties, only one can legally run radar. Coker says sheriffs have been lobbying lawmakers in hopes of passing the radar law in counties that have a population of a hundred thousand people or more.
"Mississippi has always been behind the times on everything, and it's time for us to start changing and start stepping up in the things that we do,” says Coker.
Sheriff Rasco said he'll continue his fight to run radar every year he's in office or until it passes.