MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Two new police officers will soon be hitting the streets to combat crime in Moss Point. Jackson County supervisors are pitching in to help the city hire more staff. The extra manpower is expected to take the burden off the current overworked officers.
"We are going to take back the streets of Moss Point."
Moss Point Police Chief Keith Davis said since last year his police team has decreased violent crime by 14 percent. But there are still some lingering obstacles around town.
"Drugs are prevalent and prostitution is prevalent," Davis said.
So, Moss Point applied for a $157,000 COPS Grant to hire two new officers for three years. One of the requirements was city officials had to match a portion of that funding, but they didn't have all the money. So, they turned to Jackson County Supervisors for help. Monday, the Jackson County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pitch in $27,000 to beef up its staffing.
"This not only benefits Moss Point, but our county. The more that we remove criminal activities from that city the better off our county will be," Supervisor Melton Harris said.
Chief Davis said the extra police manpower will be used to create a street crime unit.
"That unit will be comprised of a four man team and that team is going to be committed to addressing the high crime areas. We have been experiencing a high number of burglaries in the city of Moss Point and this team is committed to addressing that issue. There are going to be some other things they are going to be focused on such as drug enforcement and community outreach programs," Davis said.
Patrolman Eric Webb has worked for the Moss Point for one year and welcomes any extra help.
"With more officers on the street we are able to cover a lot of area and provide more support to the community," Webb said.
By the time the grant runs out in three years, the chief hopes to have enough in his budget to keep them on the payroll.
The chief said with the help of the new mayor, the department is continuing to improve its police vehicles, technology and other crime fighting tools.