Public Hearing Regarding Bay St. Louis Police Services

Tonight in Bay St. Louis the community showed up in force to let city leaders know their stance on the future of the city’s police department. Their voice was heard loud and clear. News 25’s Hank Davis has the story.
Members of the community packed into Bay St. Louis City Council’s chambers for a public hearing regarding the future of their city’s police department after months with no chief and talks of consolidation with the county sheriff’s office. Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said, “I would say it upwards of 90 percent of people are very supportive of us maintaining our own police department.”
The Bay St. Louis Police Department has been incomplete since former chief Mike DeNardo’s death this past September, but Fillingame says his chosen replacement is still ready and waiting. “The individual is very interested in the job. He is standing by. He is with us. I think he is more motivated than ever to get to work. He knows the challenge that’s out there for him to come in and take over and get this department restablized and structured and I think he is up to the task and very much ready to take charge.”
A new chief is exactly what Bay St. Louis citizens want.
Charles Johnson has been a resident of Bay St. Louis for 66 years. He said, “I think it’s gonna really help us out. DeNardo’s been dead since September. We definitely need a police chief.”
Mark Daniels has been a resident of Bay St. Louis for 10 years. He said, “The county does a fantastic job. Ricky is a wonderful sheriff, but he’s got his hands full. Let Bay St. Louis handle its own police department.”
Tommy Elkins has been a resident of Bay St. Louis for 30 years. He said, “The thing we got right now is you’re just kind of waffling in space. It’s like the coach went away and nobody replaced the coach. You gotta get somebody to step in and be that leader so that we can put the cohesiveness together and make this thing go forward and move along like we should be.”
After the hearing, the City Council appointed Mississippi Highway Patrolman Daren Freeman as interim police chief. Freeman will serve a six month term.

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