MS House approves “strike teams”

Mississippi House voted 69-48 to approve House Bill 749, the “Statewide Law Enforcement Strike Team Act,” to create three statewide law enforcement strike teams.  An initiative of Gov. Phil Bryant, the strike teams will be under the authority of the state Attorney General (currently Jim Hood) and will be composed of 12-15 municipal, county, and/or state law enforcement members on loan from their local jurisdictions and chosen by the AG.  The strike teams will be geographically distributed throughout the northern, central, and southern areas of the state in each of the 3 Supreme Court districts (to become known as “strike zones”).

Republicans and Democrats are concerned about the possible abuse of police power and government overreach.  Some argue that strike teams are necessary to support local law enforcement efforts in high crime areas.  Proponents say that about $1.5 million will be spent on overtime and equipment.

The bill was authored by Rep. Mark Baker (R-74).   Of the South Mississippi Representatives (see listing), only Sonya Williams-Barnes (D-119)David Baria (D-122), and Randall H. Patterson (D-115) voted against the bill which moves to the Senate where a similar bill was unable to get out of committee.

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