Residents Take Neighborhood Back From Crime

Henry Beck Park is now filled with the sounds of laughter and sights of children playing soccer or a sister giving her little brother a cool drink.

It's a much different scene than what residents saw only a few years ago.

"There are no vagrants anymore. No drugs. No loud noise or anything of that nature. Right now, it's a beautiful place and folks don't mind coming out to the park," said organizer Gloria Dilworth.

That's why members of the New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church along with the South Mississippi Weed and Seed Drug Coalition, held a Family and Friends Day celebration in the park on Sunday.

They, as well as law enforcement, rejoiced in maintaining progress together as a team.

"These neighborhoods belong to the people. Public law enforcement patrol these streets everyday, but it's the people that's actually going police it in the end. We're only here to help them in those efforts. Together we're going make a difference, not as individuals," said Captain. Windy Swetman of the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.

And no one could be more happier than Gwendolyn Beck.

The park was named after her father.

"I think that would please him tremendously. It pleases me because there was a time my grand babies couldn't come out here so we're glad that they can come back," said Beck.

Biloxi Ward two councilman Eric Dickey says the city is working on enhancing the park in other ways as well.

He says the Coastal Family Health Center, which is in the park, hopefully will one day be available to children as a resource and learning center.