VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - Vancleave has grown significantly in the past decade, with new businesses and residents moving in. All of that growth comes with its own set of issues, however. One of the big issues is the increase in crime the area has seen. But local authorities hope to fix that soon.
A new substation of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office will soon be opening right off Hwy. 57 to help combat the problem.
"My neighbor has had stuff stolen. I've had stuff stolen from my house," said resident Kirk Steiner. "I've been here 32 years and it seems like there's been a lot more break-ins."
"We're happy to have it," said Jenny Burke, who works at the Burnham Drugs in Vancleave. "It does bring presence to us and we have our officers come by here and check on us regularly. With so many of us living further out it is going to be nice to have more presence in the area."
When it comes to fighting crime, speed is the key. That's the opinion of Earl Wilson.
"I think it's a real good idea," said Earl Wilson. "With all the crime and everything, you get a quicker response and get people on the scene quicker."
Other businesses in Vancleave agree that it will bring more safety and stability to the small community.
"I think it will be great for the businesses," said Paula Deakle, the owner of Florist at Heart. "A lot of extra security real close. I think it will be great all the way around."
"I think it's going to be great for the community because now, all of a sudden, we'll see their presence, not just some of the time, all the time because they have someone there permanently," said Steve Grady, who owned Grady's Country Delight.
Steiner said the added police presence means more protection for his family, as well.
"It means there will be more police and a decrease in the break-ins that we've been having around here. I think it's a good idea," said Steiner.
According to Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell, information technology equipment is in the process of being installed in the building. When that is done, the substation will begin operations. He says he hopes to have at least two investigators working out of the building once it opens.