Wiggins residents meet with police at community event - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Wiggins residents meet with police at community event

Wiggins residents have prayer time during a community outreach for citizens and law enforcement at Wiggins Church of God in Christ. (Photo source: WLOX News) Wiggins residents have prayer time during a community outreach for citizens and law enforcement at Wiggins Church of God in Christ. (Photo source: WLOX News)
WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) -

On Saturday, the people of Wiggins were of a unified voice against violence.

The meeting, sponsored by the Wiggins Church of God in Christ, filled the sanctuary with one goal: to bring together law enforcement and community with positive conversation.

The message was clear, and consistent.

“Baton Rouge is so close to home and I did not want a tragedy like that to occur here,” said organizer Danielle Jackson. “So, it’s best for us to be proactive, instead of reactive.”

Jackson organized the meeting that brought in close to 50 law enforcement, city leaders, and residents.

“We can’t change all the problems,” Jackson said, “but we can start somewhere.”

Mayor Joel Miles is on the same page.

“We are very fortunate. We don’t have, I don’t think, any problems,” Miles said. “But at the same time, we want to head off any possible problems. With having open communication between the community and their government, then they know where we are and what we stand for and what we expect. And we know what they want and what they expect.”

Police Chief Matt Barnett says simply arresting people is not the answer.

“I’d rather deal with a parent today with an 18, 19, 20-year-old young adult that’s got a drug problem,” Barnett said. “Let’s get them help, get them straightened out, get them back in school or get a job, than see them go to prison and then have that hanging over their head for the rest of their life.”

Robby Rikard, pastor of First Baptist Church, was part of the prayer rally held earlier in the city, and says the meeting hammers home the theme.

“I really believe that God is doing something in our community here to bring us together and to make us an example for other communities around the nation of what we’re supposed to do when things like this are going on,” Rikard said. “What we see here is black people, white people, Baptist, Methodist, Church of God in Christ, all coming together and standing side by side.”

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