The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi announced a new collaboration with the City of Gulfport today to combat and deter violent crime.
Local and federal law enforcement leaders are teaming up to ‘eject’ violent crime from the streets of Gulfport. U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst said, “This is a commitment from me as US Attorney and the US Attorney’s office to the Gulfport Police Department and others that we are going to do everything within our power to make this city and Harrison County better than we found it.”
Gulfport is one of the latest cities in the state to roll out Project Eject, a program first introduced to Mississippi in 2017 when it was implemented in Jackson.
The project relies on four components: prosecution, prevention, reentry, and awareness to combat violent crimes in the community. “We see the expansion of Project Eject into Gulfport as simply a force multiplier, reinforcements if you will, bringing more collaboration, additional prosecutors, and different approaches to tackling violent crime and making all citizens safer.”
Gulfport Police Chief Chris Ryle said, “Just putting our violent offenders on notice, we’re coming after you. Enough is enough and we’re tired of it.”
While crime fighting is a major component of the project, preventing violence will be just as important. Project EJECT will also include a variety of community outreach programs designed to encourage children to make good choices in their lives. “It shows kids really the consequences of their actions, the consequences of just going along with the crowd, the consequences of using a gun in violence or even dealing drugs.”
With two federal prosecutors now in place to tackle crime in Gulfport with the rest of the task force, local leaders are looking ahead to the future with optimism. Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said, “As good as we are, we recognize that there’s always room for improvement, room for new ideas and new approaches to different situations.”