Officers need your help to stop violent crimes - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Officers need your help to stop violent crimes

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary again raised concerns that something needs to be done to stop violent crimes. Just recently in Midland City, Alabama a young boy was held captive for days until police shot and killed the suspect.

Crimes, like these, are taking over the news almost every day and one Mississippi official says more needs to be done.

Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz said, "Most of the time these things happen, people come back and say 'oh so and so, we knew this, we knew that, he was violent.' I think as law enforcement we have kind of dropped the ball on this, too."

Santa Cruz said many times there are signs something is not right. In Alabama, neighbors have now come forward about several things that should have raised a red flag.

"We need to do something about it. I think, what's a child's life worth? Or a life, period? What's it worth?"

Officers say they need your help to stop crime. If you notice something, even if you think it is not a big deal, pick up the phone and call authorities.

Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun said, "It's a team effort without all of us working together, we will fail."

Sgt. Doug Adams with Pascagoula Police Department said, "We answer every single call no matter how big or small it is. If you feel something is wrong, you need to call us to check it out because you never know where it's going to lead."

The officers said another way to help is by snapping a picture or taking a video on your cell phone.

"That word gets to the bad guys and they will not be coming to that community very long, but unfortunately they might go to a community that is not doing those things," Ward said.

Officers say they realize in some situations it may be uncomfortable to call, but they would never reveal anything that would put you in jeopardy.

"I think we can do more to curb it than what we are doing, but we all need to work together. That's the bottom line," Santa Cruz said. "The public and law enforcement needs to work together on this."

If you see a crime happening or know something that may happen soon, officers say you should call 911. If you know of information about a crime that already occurred, you can call your local police department or call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-787-5898.

You can also text the word CSTIPS and your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Or submit a tip online at https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?AgencyID=523&DSID=523

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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