“Maybe they were expecting a hurricane.” – Steve Simpson drives disaster-response RV to Talladega

Public Safety Commissioner Steve Simpson and others recently attended an event at the Talladega Superspeedway in an RV the state highway patrol uses for disaster response, leaving some to question if the RV should have been used for such a purpose.

“We were guests of the Alabama state troopers,” Simpson said. “We absolutely enjoyed it. We also met with them on a number of topics.”

Others questioned the trip.

Dick Johnson, past president of Common Cause in Mississippi, said it’s not the money, but the principle. “A lot of other citizens don’t have access to a vehicle like that,” he said.

Added Lynn Evans, a legislative monitor with the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics: “Maybe they were expecting a hurricane.”

Simpson defended the use of the RV, which the patrol got in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina devastated the Mississippi Coast in August 2005.

He said the Alabama and Mississippi agencies discussed a variety of topics, including crowd control and the handling of hurricane evacuations.

Jerry Mitchell