Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Are the Reservoir Police Department's Days Numbered?

HB 1520 is the appropriations bill for the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017, and ending June 30, 2018.  An appropriations bill comes up every year.   

Total approved for expenditure for the upcoming year is $18,209,440.00.  Of particular interest, however, is Section 9 of the proposed bill.  I include a link to the Conference Committee report that was adopted by the joint conferees on Sunday, March 26, 2017.  Section 9 directs the PRVWSD to provide the legislature with a comprehensive analysis "of the current and future needs of the district and allocation of the funds . . . for the operation and staffing" of the Reservoir Police Department. The analysis is to address the benefit of either maintaining the Reservoir Police Department or entering into intergovernmental agreements with other law enforcement agencies (presumably the sheriff's departments or city police) to provide some or all of the functions of the Reservoir Police.  

Quoted in its entirety is Section 9 of the Conference Report:

Of the funds appropriated herein, the district agrees to provide to the members of the Legislature, the Governor and Lt. Governor, on or before January 1, 2018, a comprehensive analysis of the staffing and manpower allocation of the district. This report shall include an analysis of the current and future needs of the district and allocation of the funds appropriated by the Legislature for duties of the district including the operation and staffing of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Patrol. The report should address the various functions, duties and limitations of the Patrol and the benefit, to the district, in lieu of maintaining the Patrol in its current form, in entering intergovernmental agreements with other state agencies and/or law enforcement authorities to encompass and provide some or all the functions of the Patrol for the district. The report should also address the associated financial and societal benefit, savings, and relative improvement of services for leaseholders, tourists, visitors and other parties in interest. 

What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

I say good riddance. They are a worthless entity. Why do they need unmarked SUV's? Over half the force is obese. Why do 2 of the officers get free housing in the tax free neighborhood of the RV park? Officer Coats is a prime example. Left to transfer to a department in Oregon, couldn't hack real police work (or the physical demands) , and moved back to harass everyone on The Rez. Rankin and Madison Co. SO can handle the glorified security guards of the reservoir's duties.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the earlier comment. The Rankin SO already covers a lot of the action around the REZ. Give them the money and equipment so we can all be safer!!

Anonymous said...

Agree with above. Give the money to the S.O's and let them police The Spillway and Hwy 43. Give it to real law enforcement. Reservoir Patrol is a giant waste of state funds that could be allocated elsewhere. There is a female officer that uses a R.P. pick up truck to pick up her 2 kids at the day care on Liberty Rd. every day. Clearly not in her jurisdiction and glad we paid for the gas.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why the reservoir police exists. All of their functions can be handled by Rankin County Sheriff's department, Ridgeland PD, Madison County Sheriff, MDWFP, etc.

Rct56 said...

I don't know if I am for or against eliminating the Reservoir Police (a status they attained not too long ago). But a couple of things to think about.

If I remember correctly, the Reservoir is a self funded agency, the money comes from leases. Following that thought the legislation is basically allowing the Reservoir to spend money they earned.

The Reservoir was created in the late 50's and early 60's to meet the water supply needs of Jackson (this site has a lot of great information and pictures on the creation and construction of the Reservoir).

At that time, there was no Lakeland Drive, the Northshore Causeway was built for a railroad that had to be moved from the main lake bed. Fishermen fish a good distance off from Lakeshore Park in what seems to be the middle of the lake over a submerged railroad trestle. Many of the first dwellings were getaway places way out in the country and camps. No one could dream of a 300 HP motor on a boat and so on.

All of this is to say, I don't think this is a simple question to answer; there was a reason the people who drew up the governance of the Reservoir did what they did and while times have changed; before the governance and structure involving the Reservoir is changed; consideration must be given to all facets and impacts. The law of unintended consequences always bites harshly when not considered fully.

Finally, the Reservoir is funded mostly by the folks who live there. I don't anymore, but appreciate that fact greatly and think they and the Board should have a major say in what happens there.

And, if you've read this far; to me the Reservoir is one the best amenities of its kind. Many of us take it for granted and take it for granted that we don't pay to use it if we don't live there. It may be a mud hole to some, but it our mud hole and I like it.

Anonymous said...

You must be kidding……If officers were allowed to live for “free”, then I would ask who the hell paid for that? If I did through my PRV payment / leasehold payment, then I want my money back.

Anyway, unless the Rez incorporates into its own municipality, then let the sheriff’s office(s) provide public safety.

I would like to see HB1520 expanded to research a few other topics:

“Investigate” the RV Campground. What are the revenues and expenses associated with that business? Let’s call it what it is: A mobile home park. Do the residents pay taxes? Does PRV pay for improvements to the campground using lease hold funds?

Monthly PRV fees – Just glad my other expenses haven’t grown at such ridicules inflationary rates. I believe a third party audit should be conducted relative to PRV’s operating expenses.

Anonymous said...

Have you not seen the double wide mobile home permanently placed at the RV park that we paid for? Have you not seen whats parked in front of it everyday?

You can drive through the RV park and see the permeant residences there that enjoy life tax free. The bus also picks up children there every morning (not their fault) who enjoy the schools whom their parents/guardians contribute NOTHNG towards.

I would love to see a 3rd party audit on the whole shebang as well.

Anonymous said...

Lets be honest with ourselves. If an accident happened directly in front of the Reservoir Police Dept. The have a 75 percent chance of getting there before Rankin SO if they are not cruising the parks and they could hold up traffic until SO gets their. What if it were you? Huh? Huh?

Anonymous said...

So, the money saved by eliminating the rez police stays in the PRV to improve conditions....or....does the money saved go to the legislature or governor phil to blow?

Anonymous said...

RCT56, please move back. You are the only person posting anything logical. State appropriations and taxes will not decide whether PRV disbands their police department. Why you ask? Because PRV does not currently receive state appropriations or tax revenue... PRV is subject to state appropriations; however, they have not received any direct appropriations in years. As RCT56 stated, PRV is mostly self-funded. On another note, the campgrounds are mostly self sufficient which means they are not relying on their leases.

Anonymous said...

The expansion of the trailer park alone is driving me to lobby against PRVWSD. Lots of low lifes moving in. Constant pickup trucks of construction workers from Texas, meth, booze, etc. Along with the board's constant attempts to build bars and clubs and gas stations for them beers and cigarettes on every square foot of land. The new board is insane. Totally out of touch with residents needs and wants. Booze is their only priority. The DUIs, the BUIs, the trash, the white trash moving in the campgrounds, all increasing under this new board. Sad. Get out while you can. Madison at least has standards, while the PRVWSD is turning ghetto, especially along Spillway Road. The board is not helping with the trailer trash and trying to build bars and beer stations (gas stations) on every corner. Desperate for any increase in income. Meanwhile, middle and upper income folks are ignored. God help us if the PD is abolished. What, will RCSO dispatch someone from downtown Brandon to respond to Lakeshore Trailer Park every 5 minutes? Great plan. Only the RC BOS can do more damage with no zoning enforcement, sweetheart deals for their bros, and all that sales tax money that is going to help their buddies. Not to pave, or enforce law, or enforce code. Again, Madison beats us to a pulp thanks to our two Good Ole Boy Bourbon and Bubba Boards. Sad. The Rez in Rankin now features meth heads, dollar stores, discount groceries, trailer parks, and crime. Thanks, PRVWSD and Board of Supervisors, for adding as many trailers, apartments, and drunks as possible. We should be able to incorporate the North Shore and develop our own PD and government and schools.

Anonymous said...

To correct a couple of misstatements and add a couple of thoughts -

1. Rankin Sheriff’s department has deputies at the Rez 24/7 now - have had for years.

2. PRV is the one lax on their zoning, and there is nothing the Rankin Supes can do to enforce Rankin zoning on PRV land. PRV can disregard County zoning regs and the County cannot do anything about it. What is fair on one side of Spillway Road is not fair on the other.

3. All of the PRV land that generates lease income (from us) was taken from private individuals under eminent domain when the lake was built, then turned into a money making proposition, which is quite the opposite of what eminent domain is designed to do, and PRV is hell-bent on spending every penny they can to justify their continued existence.

4. If you think your property taxes are high now, then go ahead and incorporate and watch the bureaucracy of a new municipality suck your wallets dry.

5. If you want to push for something, then push for the Legislature to require PRV to sell the land (to the individual leaseholders) and then do away with PRV’s magic kingdom, leaving them as a State Agency charged only with maintenance of the lake and dam, and funded by the legislature with interest earned from the proceeds of all the land sales.

Anonymous said...

Read the bill approved by the legislature.
Seems that the PRV submits its needs to the legislature and they say yea or nay.
Lease revenue is not sufficient to pay bills.
The state provides extra money or rejects as it sees fit.
Read the legislation
Lots of changes on how prv operates since set up decades ago.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter what the legislation says - PRV as it functions now needs to go. It is one bureaucracy functioning primarily so that the employees continue in their "justify-my-job" mentality. We do not need this agency as it is currently set up. PRV should control the lake level and maintain the dam's integrity only. Get rid of the other functions, turn the other services over to the appropriate county or city, and save those taxpayer dollars unwisely spent on this little kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Was not aware that a separate police force existed. If so, then why is it that there is no patrol at Lakeshore Park? Anytime I have tried to go to this park with children, the locals hanging about make us leave. Teenage kids that should be in school during the day, strange hook ups in the parking lot are the usual. The park does not seem safe during the day! A stronger presence would move the riffraff out and allow moms and kids to utilize the park.

Unknown said...

Judging from all of the used condoms laying around in the parking lot of Fannin Landing, there isn't much patrolling going on up that way.

C'mon people- kids are around with their families launching boats in that park! Leave only footprints!