GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The aftershocks of recent murders are hyping up community activism along the Coast. On Thursday, a Gulfport Police Department sponsored a community watch program united the Broadmoor community.
David White has lived in his home on 19th St. for 45 years. He started a community watch program in the 1980s and says it's necessary.
"I wanted community involvement. More so that we look for the unusual things to be reported to the police, and not to be scared to do so," said White. "That's what did, and it's worked all these years."
White was one of the first to show up to the meeting at Redeemer Baptist Church, and has one important piece of advice for others.
"We need to be nosy neighbors. That's the best thing in the world that we should be doing in our neighborhoods. Be nosy. Call the police on anything out of the ordinary," White noted. "Watch what goes on in the neighborhoods and what does not supposed to happen is what we need to be watching."
The meeting attracted about 40 to 50 residents who discussed crime prevention tips and crime statistics in the area.
Leading the discussion was Crime Prevention Specialist Mandy Woods, as she does several times a week throughout the city.
GPD hopes the program will encourage people to call the department directly with problems, rather than a third-party program.
But, at least one resident wants more involvement from the police.
"We do need more police presence on this road," said Nancy Bazdorf. "A lot of things we've called about, and they just don't care sometimes."
Bazdorf has been a resident the Broadmoor area for more than 11 years.
"People have to watch out for each other," Bazdorf said. "If we don't, who else is going to do it? I live alone. I'm disabled, and just getting help or emergency help takes too long."
For questions about GPD's community watch program, call Crime Prevention Specialist Mandy Woods at 228-868-5703.