Gulfport Police Community Meeting

The Gulfport Police Department held their third and final community meeting this evening at the West Side Community Center. The series of meetings was an effort to combat crime in the area.
News 25’s Kendra Turley has our full report.
Frustration and appreciation felt by Gulfport residents as the police department worked to bring clarification during its final strategic planning meeting with the public. Gulfport resident Nakisha White said, “I really think that violence stops and starts with an individual. You may be nonviolent, but I may be, but we all have to live together so we have to figure something out.”
The meeting served as a finale to a series of meetings Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania organized to get a sense of what the community needs. Gulfport resident Lee Magee said, “You can’t pray out of this. This has got to be fixed. What it needs is wisdom, knowledge, common sense and understanding.”
The department offered the transparency many residents have yearned for by providing recent statistics for the city and a breakdown of the overall police department. Chief Papania said, “You have to find out a measure of where you are so that you can chart out your future and ensure that we’re meeting the expectations and hopefully one day exceeding the expectations.”
Chief Papania spent most of his time in front of the crowd addressing concerns and answering questions. “People didn’t come to sit and be quiet, they came and they spoke. That’s exactly what we were looking for in these meetings was good, honest, candid conversations. We got it.”
The police department plans to use all of the information collected from the series of meetings to develop a plan to better serve the Gulfport community. “We have good people here, but they’ve been misled and led by people that can’t lead. They don’t know where they’re going,” said Magee.

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