Combining Forces in Bay St. Louis

Recent discussions in Bay St. Louis involve a possible consolidation of the city’s police department and Hancock County Sheriff’s Office. While some residents believe this is a bad move for the city, leaders recently held a workshop with Sheriff Ricky Adam to explore the option.
Since the death of former Bay St. Louis Police Chief Mike De Nardo this September, Mayor Les Fillingame had reportedly chosen a possible successor to his position. After delaying the appointment of the chosen individual, the city now wants to explore the option of consolidation with Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, an idea some residents feel might diminish the quality of policing in Bay St. Louis.
This doesn’t mean that Bay St. Louis Police Department will go away. They’ll keep their building. They’ll keep their gear and they’ll keep their cars. The only difference is that they’ll be working for Hancock County Sherriff’s Department. Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said, “We contract our deputies to the Diamondhead city and it’s worked really well. It’ll still be Bay St. Louis Police Department. It’ll be just like I said we have it in Diamondhead. They’ll be using the same cars, the same equipment, but they’ll be Hancock County Sheriff’s Office employees that are contracted to the City of Bay St. Louis.”
None of this is certain as the city still has the option of hiring a new police chief to head their department, but Adam says that if his office is called upon they are more than capable of policing Bay St. Louis. “There won’t be a change in response time unless it gets shorter. There won’t be a change in numbers because we guarantee they will be full on every shift. If in fact the council and the city want to have us do that and they do have us do that, we’ll sit down and we’ll have our game plan sitting on ready and we’ll go from there.”

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