GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A crime spree including four armed robberies over two weeks and a murder with no suspect in custody has the Gulfport community and city leaders on edge. Now, they are making an effort to find solutions.
"You know, sitting around talking about the crime has got to stop. Oh yea. The crimes got to stop. It's been here since the beginning of time," said Gulfport resident Linda Woods.
In the recent weeks, it's happening more and more frequently in Gulfport.
"As a citizen of Gulfport, I think it's senseless, and we as citizens need to do something about it," said Gulfport resident Nelson Douglas.
City leaders agree. They're pulling together for a town meeting to try and get the community involved in fighting crime. Here's how it will work.
"When you get here, we'll ask you to register. That's very important with name and email. Then, we'll put you in a round table discussion with people you may or may not know. That'll be your choice. Then, we're going to have strengths and weaknesses, where we can improve in the City of Gulfport, where residents can improve. Then, we're going to do a stand up. Whomever has the courage to stand up and say what their table thinks that we're suppose to do," said Gulfport Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines.
Residents have mixed feelings on why the crime is happening and how to solve it. Many agree that it starts at home.
"We need real parents to step up to the plate, raise their children the way they should be raised to respect their elders and respect law enforcement," said Douglas.
"You can bend a weed when a child is young, but when they get older and become a tree, it's hard to bend them, and it's hard to change things," said Woods.
City leaders are urging the Gulfport community to come out and participate. The town hall meeting will take place Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Isiah Fredericks Community Center on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.