MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - For the first time in three years, the Moss Point Police Department hired a DUI officer. It's all part of a law enforcement grant to help promote safer streets and sober drivers.
His name is Darius Wilson and he said his new job is one that's very personal to him.
"There was a young lady in my high school who was victim of DUI. For her to lose her life that was an eye-opener for me and our community. Now 10 years later, I get to look back and see that I can hopefully, Lord willing, be able to stop someone else from going through this tragedy," Wilson said.
Police Chief Keith Davis applied for a $102,000 DUI grant through the Mississippi Department of Public Safety back in March. Two weeks ago the grant was approved.
"Since 2009, when Moss Point last had its DUI officer in place they had 79 DUI arrests, that particular year. Each year the number declined up until 2011, they only had 25 DUI arrests," said Davis.
Now that a police officer is back on the road patrolling for drunken drivers, the chief and Wilson expect the DUI numbers to go back up.
"It is very necessary that we be out here to make sure these guys get the picture that you can't drink and drive, whether it is two beers, three, or four or even more," Wilson said.
In addition to strict DUI enforcement, some grant funding will also be used to buy much needed state of the art equipment, such as a laptop and dash camera.
"And it is also going to pay for some overtime. This is just another tool in the bag for the citizens in Moss Point to take back the streets as we have talked about so many times," said Davis.
Davis said a portion of the grant money will also go towards funding some of the anti-DUI crackdown campaigns, as well as, Click It Or Ticket.