Running radar to catch speeders on Interstate 10 is something some cities can do and others can’t.
Their city limits have to touch or include I-10 to do that, and in Jackson County that would be Gautier and Moss Point.
Gautier readers have noticed a number of city patrol cars on their part of the transcontinental thoroughfare in the last two months, often in the evenings on weekdays and early weekend, pulling over what looks like speeders.
They want to know more about what’s behind those traffic stops. Why are patrol cars up on I-10 and not in the city? Is it a way to make money?
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Gautier Police Chief Dante Elbin said that while the city could catch speeders on I-10 all day long, their primary focus is on the populated areas of the city.
“Yes, they can run radar (on the interstate), but that’s not our objective,” he said. “We want them down here working neighborhoods.”
He said there are no speed traps on I-10 in Gautier. Elbin said all their patrols have beats and a patrolman would need to have a specific reason to be up there.
However, when a patrol officer makes the four-mile run on I-10 between Gautier’s Exit 61 and Mississippi 57, he’s free to run radar.
“It’s just not our primary focus,” he said. “They’re not sitting up there.”
What else brings Gautier police to I-10?
He said they handle accidents on the interstate and also participate in a Jackson County-wide drug interdiction task force that patrols the area. Gautier and all cities in the county have police vehicles up there at times, because of the task force’s special federal jurisdiction.
So these days, readers who travel I-10 through Jackson County are likely to see police vehicles from the cities as far east as the Alabama state line and as far west as the Harrison County line.