HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Community members and leaders gathered on Dabbs Street for a Stop the Violence rally on Thursday night after a deadly weekend rattled residents.
The rally was a call to action for the people in the community. Residents are taking action to ensure the safety of the community.
"Am I going to be safe enough to open the doors of my store?” asked a local store owner. “My son got shot three months ago and thank God it went through the back and out the top. A bullet doesn’t have a name.”
Residents at the rally signed up for a community watch to help keep Dabbs Street safe.
Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker and Ward 2 Councilwoman Deborah Delgado spoke at the rally, as well as Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker, who announced the beginning of “Operation Quality of Life.” The operation will include two patrol officers from each shift roaming freely throughout the city, around the clock, to maintain the quality of life.
HPD spokesman Ryan Moore said the officers will be visible on foot, bicycles and patrol cars and members of the community are encouraged to interact with them, get to know them and share valuable information.
The two officers on each shift will continuously roam the city and be isolated from the intense call volume of patrol, according to Moore.
One community member, Sonia Barlow, currently lives on Dabbs Street. She has lived with her family in the area since 1975. Here is an exclusive interview with Barlow, where she takes us through each part of Dabbs Street and its surrounding areas.
“Yes we hear it that’s just how bad it is,” said Barlow.
“We can tell you exactly where the shootings are.”