DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Do DeSoto County deputies need radar? It's a question the state legislature debates every year, whether to let Mississippi sheriff departments run radar. Every year they vote it down. If the bill doesn't pass this year, DeSoto County is working on plan B.
The only way the sheriff's department can issue a ticket now is to follow a speeder for two and half miles. Sheriff Bill Rasco says that's just not realistic.
"You know if someone sees a law enforcement agent behind them they're going to slow down within two and a half miles," he tells abc24.com. "We don't give any speeding tickets whatsoever."
And his deputies may not anytime soon.
DeSoto Supervisor Bill Russell says it could be this summer before the state legislature comes to a decision. He's not optimistic.
"I honestly don't think it's going to go anywhere this year," Russell says.
If the radar bill doesn't pass, Russell says the county could choose to vote on it.
"If we did a referendum and it was successful, we'd have a better chance getting it through the legislature in Jackson," he says.
But would residents vote in favor of radar?
"I think it's a good idea because there's a lot of speeding and the sheriffs can't really tell," says Freddy Williams.
"I know on I-55 70 mph is the speed limit, but it's not. It's more like 90. So maybe it will help," says Evan Wagner.
"I think if drivers knew sheriff cars were radar equipped they'd probably drive a lot more cautiously all the time," says Russell. "The referendum would be our only other option."
"I would definitely support it," adds Rasco. "In any way we can get it, I would support it."