If Gulfport wants to change from its own police department to the county sheriff, it’s going to take all five of the city’s councilmembers to make that change, council decided Tuesday evening.
After discussing how best to protect the city’s police department from dissolution or absorption into the county sheriff, council voted 4-1 (with Councilwoman Barbara Banno dissenting) to require a unanimous vote (5-0) to do so.
Council discussed requiring a voter referendum, something Mayor Mike Yakes favored.
“My confidence is with the registered voters,” he told council. In an interview with the Gabber, Police Chief Rob Vincent said he preferred the supermajority, calling it “much stronger” than a referendum.
“I have never, and I never will have the intention [of outsourcing the police department]... but you never know what’s going to happen in this economy... having it be a 5-0 puts the city at a big risk,” Councilwoman Barbara Banno said. “I would rather see it go to charter than 5-0.”
Council will vote on this a second and final time on Tuesday, December 18.
Note: The printed version of the December 6 paper contains an inaccuracy; it erroneously reports council decided on a 4-1 vote. This web version is accurate and we regret the error that appeared in print.