Reeves signs law that allows troopers to use radar in cities

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, March 24, 2021

When a group of people shut down Interstate-55 in Jackson on New Year’s weekend, officers of the Mississippi Highway Patrol were of no use to help because of a law that barred MHP from patrolling the highways in cities with populations over 15,000.

The law that prevented MHP officers from patrolling city highways is no more after Gov. Tate Reeves signed Senate Bill 2788 into law. The new law now allows state troopers to use radar and patrol in places like Jackson, Biloxi and Meridian. The new law also requires that MHP be notified by local law enforcement of any roadblocks or emergencies on the interstate, like the incident in early January, when parts of the northbound lanes of I-55 in Jackson were shut down by cars doing donuts on the roadway.

The dangerous stunts were recorded while traffic was brought to a standstill.

The bill was introduced by Sen.David Blount (D) partly in response to the January incident that blocked part of the interstate for at least an hour.

Troopers begin their new statewide patrols on July 1.