South Mississippians determined not to let terror keep them shel - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippians determined not to let terror keep them sheltered

Joni Tanner of Ocean Springs enjoys the lights at Biloxi's Town Green. She's cautious about safety, but she says she's not afraid after the terror attacks in California. (Photo source: WLOX) Joni Tanner of Ocean Springs enjoys the lights at Biloxi's Town Green. She's cautious about safety, but she says she's not afraid after the terror attacks in California. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The lights of the holidays are calming. They represent many things, but not fear. But even among the lights of joy, at Biloxi’s Town Green, there’s an underlying caution that fills the air.

The aftereffects of the California terrorist attack are still fresh, but South Mississippi residents are determined to fight through the fear and not let terror keep them sheltered.

“It makes you stop and think and take look about who's next to you, and who's carrying a backpack,” said Joni Tanner of Ocean Springs, who capped off a night of fun with her grandson with a trip to Biloxi's Town Green to see the decorations. “I’m not going to be afraid. I’m going to keep doing what I want to do. Because I believe their aim is to terrify people.”

For Hollie King, home base is safe.

"Here around my hometown, I don’t really feel too endangered," she said. "But if I wasn’t in my hometown, I probably wouldn’t feel safe at all. ... If anything, I don’t ever go out by myself without at least my mother or husband with me. Especially my two children."

Brooke Moody also finds safety with others.

"There are a lot of crazy people out there," she said. "I feel safer when I’m at home. The only time I usually go out is with friends. I don’t usually go out by myself."

Ten-year-old Morgan Bradford feels well protected. But when she heard of the attack in California, it was a shock.

"I was like, uh-oh. Holy cow. We need to do something about this. Or, they need to."

Lt. Tim McKaig with the Biloxi Police Department assured that safety is a top priority. His department has a special intelligence unit that is in regular contact with the FBI to stay on top of potential targets. But his everyday advice is simple.

"Lock your doors. Lock your car doors. Lock your house doors," he said. "Keep your head up and call us if you see something you don’t like."

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