Gulfport Police Take Office To The Streets - - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Police Take Office To The Streets

The mobile command center rolled into the Kenwood neighborhood Thursday afternoon, just off Old Highway 49.

That's where Gulfport officers talked to residents like Peggy Franklin, who says overall, this is a pretty quiet neighborhood.

"The only concerns that I have right now with this neighborhood is with people walking their dogs and not keeping them on a leash, because there is a leash law. I'm concerned about people speeding through the neighborhood because there are small children out here playing," said Franklin.

No matter how big or small the issue, Gulfport officers want to hear them. And they've been listening now for six months.

That's when then-newly appointed Police Chief Alan Weatherford kicked off the program.

"We are very happy with the response that we have received from our citizens. I couldn't be more pleased with the turnout that we've had," said Chief Weatherford.

Every Thursday afternoon, Chief Weatherford and Gulfport police officers visit various neighborhoods throughout the city.

But they say it's more than simply hearing the concerns of residents and walking the streets of every neighborhood. It's about gaining the trust of the community.

"It's all about doing follow ups. That the key to this program is doing follow ups and hearing what they have to say. That's what we want to hear is what they have to say. If we're going to be successful in crime reduction in this city, we're going to have to listen to our citizens and get their feedback," said Weatherford.

Chief Weatherford says he and his officers plan to follow up with as many people as they can, something Peggy Franklin appreciates.

"I think it's great of him to come and bring the awareness out into the neighborhood. I think a lot of neighborhoods need this a little more. It lets us know that he's here for us," said Franklin.  

Next Thursday, Chief Weatherford and the mobile unit will head to the intersection of 14th Street and 35th Avenue.

By Karla Redditte

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