GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Concerned citizens from the Gaston Point community in Gulfport came together Tuesday night to take a stand against crime and drugs.
Police Chief Leonard Papania was among the many in attendance at the Night Out Against Crime.
“This is our true identity. People who want to make a better community,” said Papania. The chief was thrilled with the large turnout. He was even more excited that people of all ages made it out.
While the event was planned months ago, it arrives hot on the heels of a recent rash of crime which includes four open homicide investigations.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time. What I really like is that this is not a reactionary event. This has been planned for a long time. This is a community doing exactly what we need in our city,” said Papania.
Law enforcement officials were not the only ones who made their presence felt. Several members of the community were vital in making this event possible. One of those individuals is block captain Lorraine Price.
“We trying to give crime a going away party," said Price. "Stop the crime!”
An idea which the community seemed fully behind as more than 100 turned up to show their support for the stand. The large turnout even stunned Louis Gholar.
“In times like this, I want the community to just come together and see what we’re doing and what we could do to improve our community,” said Gholar.
The event even honored those who had lost their lives due to crime. As balloons covered with signatures were released into the sky.
“According to our last name Gaston Point. We want to point out the crime," said Lorraine Price. "We’re not going to tolerate it anymore.”