Park restrooms, electronic citation system discussed by Council

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Estimates for the construction of two bathrooms at local parks and the implementation of more technologically advanced citation system for the police department were discussed by the Picayune City Council recently.
Public Works Director Eric Morris said the construction of restrooms at the parks will be conducted at Friendship Park and Leola Jordan Park. Engineering estimates project the cost for restrooms at both parks will total about $124,000.
Friendship Park’s restroom will total 218 square feet, while the one at Leola Jordan will be about 200 square feet. After concerns about the cost were lodged by Councilor Larry Breland, Morris said that commercial restrooms are usually more expensive than a residential restroom. Additionally, the Council decided to install more resilient fixtures, such as stainless steel toilets, in those restrooms to deter vandalism and ensure the investment will last while making the facilities easy to maintain. Jonathan Hickman with Dungan Engineering said that the only way to decrease the cost would be to build restrooms that would lend themselves to issues.
Within the Picayune Police Department, Assistant Chief Dustin Moeller said the department would like to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety’s e-Citation program. He asked the Council to approve the agreement, so the department can utilize the necessary equipment to perform traffic stops more quickly, and therefore more safely. Currently, all citations are handwritten by the officer on paper, which means stops with multiple infractions require the officer to handwrite multiple tickets. At times an officer will spend 30 minutes on one traffic stop, taking away time that could be used to patrol the streets, Moeller said. With the new system, all the officer would need to do is scan the driver’s license with specialized equipment, and the citation will be logged electronically with the Police Department and the municipal court. He estimates the new system will cut a 5 minute stop down to one minute. While there will be an initial expense to purchase the equipment needed to scan the license and log the citation, the software will be provided for free.
The Council approved entering into the agreement.

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