MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point's police department is going high-tech with some new crime fighting tools to track criminal activity. The department recently received a Department of Public Safety Juvenile Accountability Grant. The money will also be used to keep kids off the streets and active.
Moss Point Police Officer James Gladden admits patrolling can be very time consuming when you don't have the most up-to-date tools to do the job.
"Say you're going to create a report for a citizen, and you have to take the time to come back to the station sometimes from all the way across the city, sit down, boot up a computer and then you have to create a report right there. All the time you are spending at the station, you're not out protecting the citizens," said Gladden.
That's about to change soon. Police Chief Keith Davis plans to use a $207,000 grant to equip all of the department's patrol cars with dashboard cameras. Police officers will now have iPads at their fingertips.
"What this does is it gives officers real time information while they're in the field dealing with citizens, and therefore increasing productivity in the field," Chief Davis said.
The new technology will also be beneficial at crime scenes and accidents.
"They can provide photographs and video to other officers working in the field and in other areas."
In addition to technology, a chunk of the funding will go toward rewarding young people who make good grades and have good behavior in school.
"There is a component of the grant that allows me to purchase camping gear, fishing gear. What we're going to do with that is we are going to implement a "Go camping with the Chief" program, and it is my goal to setup some camping trips down on the riverfront," said Davis.
The chief hopes the investments in the city's youth and the new gadgets will help combat crime and keep communities safe.
"We are not here to arrest; we are here to prevent it."
The police department is also planning to put the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program known as D.A.R.E. back in schools and also purchase a D.A.R.E. vehicle.