SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Southaven’s Board of Alderman on Tuesday approved a tax increase to pay for more police officers and higher first responder pay.

The 3.05-mil increase brings the city’s tax rate to 46.78 mils. That translates to an average increase of $72.45 annually for homeowners, or roughly $20 annually for those 65 and over.

It is Southaven’s first tax increase since 2006.

The added $2 million in revenue will pay for 10 extra police officers, 12 vehicles, and a 4% pay increase for all first responders including police and fire.

The boost for police is related to Southaven’s “Operation Close the Door,” which is focused on preventing crime that city leaders say is coming across the state line from Memphis.

“Criminals are coming from Memphis but I can say this, Southaven police will be on them like white on rice,” Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite said.

The new $68 million Southaven budget was approved on a 6-1 vote at a special meeting before a Sept. 15 deadline. The city’s fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Note: WREG systems administrator George Payne is a Southaven alderman.