Gulf Coast WAVE has second bridge walk to promote safety

Gulf Coast WAVE has second bridge walk to promote safety

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A sexual assault case on the Biloxi Bay Bridge five months ago has not been forgotten, and it has once again created a solidarity for safety.

On Friday, the Gulf Coast Women Against Violence Everywhere had its second bridge walk since it organized after the assault in November 2014. The first bridge walk may have drawn more participants than the second, but the message is still loud and clear and the effort to keep the bridge safe hasn't stopped.

The Gulf Coast Women Against Violence Everywhere wants to do whatever it needs to do so no one will ever walk in fear.

"We didn't do this in the beginning to get any types of reward," said founder Robin Cooley. "We did it because we felt there was a need, because we wanted to make a difference."

The safety fair event at Point Cadet Plaza involved the Ocean Springs Fire Department, the Department of Marine Resources and the Biloxi Police Department.

Capt. Harold Windom of the Biloxi PD says the bridge is a safe place to be, but awareness is most important.

"There have been crimes of opportunity," he said. "The wrong person at the right time with somebody by themselves. So it's always keep aware of what's around you."

A big goal for the organization is to install cameras on either end of the bridge and add more lighting to the walking area. WAVE organizers say they are getting fund-raising plans to purchase the cameras, which will cost about 10 thousand dollars.

But in the meantime, WAVE has announced a safe walk night on the first and third Fridays of every month in cooperation with Biloxi and Ocean Springs police departments.

It's good news for Ocean Springs resident Judy Dalgo.

"I think it would be nice to have a police presence sometimes and I also think the cameras are a good idea," she said. "And, unfortunately in the winter, it gets dark early, so I think that would especially be nice to have police presence out, because even at 5:30 it's already dark."

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