GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - For five days straight Gulfport police raided homes and businesses going after those the chief believes are part of the criminal subculture responsible for committing crimes in the city.
Did the raids help reduce crime? Between Friday and Tuesday crime mapping shows 127 crimes reported in Gulfport, on those same days before the raids and arrests there were 179 crimes committed.
During the five day operation, police arrested 67 people.
"We want them to know they are not welcome here," Mayor Billy Hewes said. "If you are going to be involved with dealing or using drugs, if you are going to be wreaking havoc, you need to find somewhere else to live."
Mayor Billy Hewes applaud's police efforts to make the city an even safer place to live.
"We've gone through great pains making sure this is a place people want to come to, live, work and play," Mayor Hewes said. "We ought to be proud of the quality of life we enjoy but a lot of it is because of the police work that is done."
According to Gulfport's crime report, last year there were 180 violent crimes reported in the city that is home to around 71,000 people. FBI statistics show the average violent crimes committed for every 100,000 residents is 368.
"Gulfport is a very safe place to live," Mayor Hewes said, "now if you are engaged in a lifestyle that attracts crime or involves it then you are going to have problems. A lot of the shootings and things you are seeing are criminals on criminals."
The Mayor encourages everyone to do their part and help police.
"If you see it report it, if there is something that concerns you, report it that's what we are here for," Mayor Hewes said. "Thank you for what you do in your family, a lot of this comes down to how we raise our kids. Those folks who take the time to bring their kids up right, to discipline where necessary, to set standards, create expectations and let folks know you get what you give. We are supposed to give back and make things better than we found them."