Protestors Call For More Patrol Officers In Moss Point - - The News for South Mississippi

Protestors Call For More Patrol Officers In Moss Point

In the wake of recent controversy at the Moss Point jails, protestors met outside City Hall to demand the city hire more officers in the Moss Point Police Department. Keli Rabon was there to find out their concerns and what these citizens hope can be done.   

"Once you live in this city as long as we have, you begin to see the rise and fall of crime. And when crime is on the rise, we need more police officers to deter that crime, or stop that crime," Moss Point resident Mitch Ellerby said.   

Ellerby speaks from experience. He's lived in Moss Point for more than 30 years. On Monday, he and other residents gathered with a unified voice and a series of signs, expressing concern for the city's security.     

"We are concerned," he says. "We do not want to be prisoners in our own home."   

Protestors say even though Chief Drakeford has asked for four police officers to be included in the upcoming budget, that's not enough.   

 "We should have a police officer for every 10 people, because of your crime rate. bc of what your drug problem is," Church of Christ pastor Otis Hardy said.      

While concerned citizens organized outside the building, Mayor Bishop and his board of aldermen were meeting inside City Hall. The mayor chose not to comment on the protestors, but he did tell me about the recommendations coming from the meeting.   

 "There were several issues raised today - among them additional police hiring. On the recommendation of the majority of board members, we will look at hiring in the police department and public works, and reconsider pay raises that had been previously included," Mayor Xavier Bishop said.      

Ideally, Mayor Bishop says the city would like to hire eight more officers. Protestors say even if their message doesn't make changes today, they're not ready to throw in the towel.    

"We'll keep trying, you don't give up. You go back, you sit down to a table of understanding, and you reach a happy medium," Ellerby said.   

Mayor Bishop says that Tuesday he will meet with the city accountant to discuss the latest budget recommendations.  If approved, the hiring process can take anywhere from two to four months.   

By Keli Rabon

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