The Mississippi Fair Commission makes about $3 million off the state fair each year, but Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith, who chairs the fair commission, said there is no legal authority to pay the Jackson Police Department more than $300,000 to help provide security.
JPD, citing budget cuts, said this year it wouldn’t be able to provide the level of protection it has in prior years The fair begins Wednesday and runs through Oct. 18. The city had spent roughly $300,000 each year in personnel costs associated with security. Jackson provided patrols, traffic control and security around the state fairgrounds. Hinds County deputies and Capitol Police provide security inside the fairgrounds.
“We had three meetings about a possible solution,” Hyde-Smith said. “We made an offer to pay for off-duty Jackson Police officers. They said they would only take $320,000.”