Moss Point Police chief pledges to improve safety after crime increase

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point's police chief is pledging to beef up enforcement citywide to help combat crime. This is after a recently released police report revealed that violent crime is up by 8.5 percent. Property crime has also seen a 63 percent spike in Moss Point.

For two years, Moss Point Police Chief Keith Davis was able to brag about the crime dropping citywide. Now, the most recent numbers show crime on the rise.

"Yes, there is a disappointment."

According to the chief's 2013 crime report, there were three homicides and one has been solved. The number of burglaries also jumped to over 500.

"I feel it is necessary to show transparency to our community that we are going to report when it is good and we are going to report when it is bad," Chief Davis said.

Citizens seem to have mixed reactions about the spike in crime.

"You have to look at right now. There are no jobs, inflation and people are hurting, but it is no excuse to commit a crime though," a Moss Point resident said.

"It is a disappointment to see that the crime rate is up, but we as citizens here will keep pushing forward," another resident said.

Chief Davis said cutting crime means beefing up patrols in the drug infested areas. A citywide street crime unit team is also in the works.

"They will be dedicated to the different crime trends as they happen, and right now, it would be burglaries. They will be dedicated to going out there and coming up with innovative strategies to identify those who are breaking into houses and breaking into cars."

The police team is also getting more involved in the local schools now to help kids make better choices and to stay out of trouble.

"As recent as today, we are in the school district teaching changing attitudes, changing behaviors. We have to reach them here and as they get here we won't have deal with them on the criminal level," said Davis.

The chief hopes this plan will improve safety in the city. The police department is also planning to promote neighborhood watch around town. Davis said he's also working with the mayor's office to acquire grant funding to buy new equipment and improve the police department.

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