Violent crime rate drops in Moss Point

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Every city on the Coast has to deal with its share of crime, but in Moss Point things are getting a little better. According to Police Chief Keith Davis, there was a significant decline in violent crimes last year compared to previous years.

In a recent report Davis submitted to the city he said the crime rate has dropped by 23 percent in 2012. That's a bigger decrease than 2011, which only saw a 14 percent drop. You probably wouldn't find Samarra Nelson taking a morning stroll with her child a year ago in Moss Point.

"It was just that a lot of people hung out, like the drug people and stuff," Nelson said.

She said that's not the case anymore.

"The police ride around all the time to make sure nothing is going on and it just makes me feel safer walking around here," Nelson said. "My windows and stuff are down now, And I would never do something like that before."

Over at a local Main Street barbershop, workers have also seen a small cut in crime.

"We had more turmoil than what we have now," business owner Harold Richmond said.

A few miles away, Richard Bosarge said there are still problems in his neighborhood, but it is getting better.

"In this area we have very few incidents over here compared to what it used to be, and I hope it continues," Bosarge said.

"A report that I submitted to the board this year indicated a 23 percent reduction in violent crime in the city. The categories include, robberies, aggravated assaults and crimes against persons," Davis said.

Davis said there are some key reasons for the crime reduction.

"We have stepped up enforcement in the detective division, and we have made personnel changes whereas the individuals who are committing crimes are actually being prosecuted. With them being prosecuted, we are mitigating their ability to reoffend," Davis said.

Extra patrols and neighborhood watch programs have also helped, but Davis admits his team still has a long way to go to before Moss Point is crime free.

"We still have a lot of work to do. We have to beef up our patrol division, and we have to beef our detective division, but as you know that all takes money," Davis said. "Money is an issue, but we are looking for some innovative ways to beef up those areas and put policemen on the streets."

Technology also plays an important role when it comes to fighting crime. Davis said he is also working with the city to improve their crime fighting tools  for his officers and build a more up-to-date police department to replace the now aging facility.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.