Poplarville Police Chief addresses complaints

Published 1:30 pm Saturday, December 11, 2021

During Tuesday’s Board of Alderman meeting, some community members concerns about speeding violations near school zones and heard a report of an officer acting out of jurisdiction.

After those Poplarville residents voiced concerns of numerous drivers being seen driving faster than the 25 mph limit in school zones, Chief of Police Daniel Collier said he looked into he issue and found a speed limit sign located on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on the way to the Upper Elementary campus that was “way out of whack.”

He and his staff decided that in order to enforce speed limits the signs alerting the public to that limit need to be up and visible, so new signs have been ordered. These new signs will include reflective lights that are clearly marked.

“There’s no question about what the speed limit is now,” said Collier.

In the meantime the police department has conducted additional patrols of the area.

“But we can’t concentrate on every sign when we have the entire city,” said Collier.

Collier also addressed a complaint that alleged one of his officers who lives on the edge of Stone County pulled over a motorist outside of the city limits. Collier informed the Item that he reviewed the officer’s patrol camera concerning the incident in question, where a Poplarville resident was pulled over just outside Poplarville’s city limits while heading towards Gulfport. The reason for the stop was for speeding, but Collier said he was not concerned with the officer’s actions after reviewing the video footage. Collier said his officer, whose name was not released, told Collier that on his trips home to Stone County he engage his lights when he sees someone crossing the center line or if someone is speeding. The officer is commissioned outside of the city and has also worked for Stone County Sherriff’s Department before working for Poplarville’s Police Department.

“But obviously he’s in my equipment and I don’t want him doing that, and I did address that to him,” Collier said.

A few months ago while the same officer was driving through Wiggins, the officer conducted a stop a vehicle, promtping the driver to turn into a parking lot. Collier said the officer performed the necessary precautions and waited until the Wiggins Police Department got there. That incident ended up resulting in a drug bust arrest for the Wiggins Police Department.

“He has stopped out (of jurisdiction) on occasion when need be, but that’s not a common practice and he’s not trying to stop people between here and there,” said Collier.