Lamar County sheriff needs radar

In most Mississippi counties, sheriff's departments are not allowed to use radar. The exception is Lowndes County. Lamar County may be joining these rarefied ranks.

The "no radar allowed" is a vestige of heavy-handed legislative control that does not allow a county to set its own policy - and people's fears that the use of radar will only be used to write tickets and add to a county's coffers.

At the request of Sheriff Danny Rigel, the Lamar County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to ask the Legislature to allow its sheriff's department to carry radar on county roads.

Rigel doesn't need to persuade us - we have seen too much speeding on Lamar County roads. The lead-foots have nothing to fear - they know the department's hands are tied.

"I believe we need radar to slow people down, prevent accidents and save lives," Rigel said Thursday. "I've been doing this for a long time ... and it's hard to go to work with one hand tied behind your back. We have no ways to enforce our (speeding) laws."

Currently, only larger municipal police departments and the Highway Patrol are allowed to use radar in Mississippi.

Frankly, it's ridiculous that the county should have to go begging to the Legislature for this. Each county should be free to make its own policy.

This is something Lamar County thinks is important and the Legislature should make it happen come January.