GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As more stores open in Gulfport on Highway 49, the police department is looking at ways to make the area safer.
"You have a lot of criminals that use the interstate in their shoplifting rings and they travel state to state coming off the interstate hitting stores," said Gulfport Police Chief, Leonard Papania.
Chief Papania calls interstate 10 and Hwy 49 the economic crossroads of the city of Gulfport. But, he thinks he's found a way to make the area more secure.
"Our hopes are to get a police substation in there. Right now we're in conversation with the administration and the council," said Papania.
The substation would create a patrol area that would cover the central business district on Hwy 49, but it would also help others in Gulfport.
"This would allow our citizens in the northern part of the city to have access to a police building without that long drive," said Papania.
As of right now, the plans are in the early stages of development. The chief hopes to have the substation up and running within the next five years.