Floats will not throw candy during Christmas parade: BPD cites safety concerns for new regulation

Published 10:42 am Thursday, November 5, 2015

In a move that’s bound to disappoint Brookhaven’s children, officials agreed this week that candy will no longer be thrown during the annual Christmas parade due to safety concerns.

In Monday’s regular Board of Aldermen meeting, officials discussed safety adjustments to the Christmas parade.

The board brought up a memo from the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, which, with recommendations from the Brookhaven Police Department, announced that candy will not be thrown during the parade for safety reasons. Members said there had been no incidents so far, but that children darting in front of vehicles during the parade was extremely dangerous and an accident waiting to happen.

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Candy will be thrown by Santa at the end of the parade, but officers and those involved with the parade agreed the danger of throwing candy during the duration is too risky.

Some board members posed a question about caution tape to help corral the crowd, but Police Chief Bobby Bell advised that had been considered and ruled out as a viable solution. Caution tape doesn’t effectively keep people in line and the Brookhaven Police Department doesn’t have the manpower required to monitor the route that intensely.

Fire Chief Tony Weeks addressed the board on adding to the fire department’s budget a recent donation from Rex Lumber. The board discussed the technical rescue equipment and the chief’s goal to raise at least $10,000 to get started. The incident on Labor Day, when a young boy fell into a dry well requiring specialized rescue tactics, seemed to be the catalyst to existing BFD efforts to create and equip a special rescue team.

The board moved to approve the budget addition and expressed support and appreciation for the Brookhaven Fire Department’s efforts.

Bell requested approval to use the money allotted for a new police vehicle and the board unanimously granted the request.

In other business, the board:

• Accepted the resignation of Isaiah Turner as of Oct. 23 in the solid waste department.

• Approved Bell to attend Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police Conference on Dec. 8-12. City will pay registration of $325 and reimbursement for meals only, at an estimate of $205.

• Approved for Seth Morris to attend the Haz-Mat Tech 1 Class at the State Fire Academy on Nov. 9-1. The class costs is $136. City will pay registration and eight meals at $15 per day.

• Approved for Dwayne Brumfield to attend the Firefighter Intervention Rescue Survival Techniques Class at the State Fire Academy Dec. 7-10. City to pay the cost of class at $365 and four meals at $15 per day.

All members were present at Tuesday’s meeting.