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Community members make multiple efforts to curb gun violence in Jackson County

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Community members in Moss Point and Pascagoula say they’re tired of loved ones dying from bullets.

As gun violence rises locally and nationally, officers and community members are coming together to end violence and build bonds instead.

Most folks in Jackson County are born and raised like Joshua Borden, but for him, watching his lifelong friends either turn to gun violence or get killed by it hits home.

“Really, to be honest, it’s sad to see it. The more it happens, the more closer to home it gets. People you may have went to school with, people that you knew from the neighborhood. It’s something you really want to change because "

This is why he stepped up to volunteer at the Hoops 4 Hope event, an effort to build relationships between Moss Point and Pascagoula officers and kids through the game of basketball.

“It helps the kids to see that the law enforcement is not an opponent or someone that they have to be scared of, but you get to see that we’re more alike than not alike,” said Borden.

Head organizer Maggie Williams said she saw the signs early that her son was going down the wrong path.

In response, she started Hoops 4 Hope while being optimistic that the youth would use the event as an outlet.

“We have to start by talking to them. We’ve got to create a safe, fun space for them to relax and for them to get through,” said Williams.

The Moss Point Police Department is also creating safe spaces with its Community Strides team.

The goal is for members to reach residents and discuss community concerns.

“It humanizes them, and everyone wants to be heard. Should they go to the city council meetings? Yes. But not everyone is going to do that. So why not go hear what the neighbors have to say,” said Williams.

Williams said the issue is bigger than Jackson County as more bullets are snatching the souls across the country each day.

He said now is the time to become persistent with our needs to politicians.

“The timing is right. So, if you got the community coming together as one, now is the time to put some pressure on the people that sign off on the money and make the rules. That they’re doing what we’re paying them to do, and that’s to have our best interest at heart. What our community needs right now is to feel safe,” said Williams.

Hoops 4 Hope is June 4th at the Pascagoula Recreation Center starting at 10 a.m.

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