GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Arthur Durr wants to be a police officer in Gulfport. The reason comes from the heart.
"I come from a broken home and a bad neighborhood, and I feel like I can go back and fix it, clean it up," Durr explained.
The crackdown on crime is welcome news for him as well.
"Yes, it's a good thing for the city, but I think the city also needs to get together with the police force and create more programs for the kids, so they have something to do," Durr said.
At the Francis Fredericks Senior Center, people here agree. They long for something that's gone now. Aaron Wilson visits almost every day.
"I'm glad they are cracking down. I don't even feel safe going in and out of my house no more in broad daylight. I am very glad they are cracking down on all this spice they've got going on around here," Wilson said.
That's a feeling shared by Sam Miley, dropping off his 5-year-old daughter at the head start center. He hopes criminals are getting the message.
"I'm very concerned about safety. It's a shame when you can't go out in your own yard and you have to watch every five or 10 minutes. It's just not the same anymore in the City of Gulfport," Miley lamented.
The crackdown could give Senthere Jordan some peace of mind while she sits on her front porch.
"Well, there are guns shooting and people trying to get into your house while you're in there, and it's just too much," Jordan said.
While almost everyone I spoke with today welcomes this crackdown on the criminal element in the City of Gulfport, they also say there's an underlying issue that has to be addressed. That's the advice from Alex Lawson, who owns a convenience store
"If we educate our youth a little bit more, we give them more jobs, more activities in the community, then we can control the drug activity," Lawson explained.
That control will take a team effort along with police, according to Wilson.
"It's going to take the neighborhood helping them to make it safer," said Wilson.
Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania says these raids and crackdowns will continue for as long as it takes to make the streets safe.