New billboard in Pearl River County urges people to report drug activity
Pearl River County has the most overdose deaths per capita in Mississippi and Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers is working to lower that number.
Families gathered on Memorial Boulevard in Picayune to share stories of their loved ones who lost their battle with addiction. On a billboard behind them are photos. Susie Smith lost her daughter to drugs. She chose to put her daughter on the billboard so she could get this message out. “Stop doing what you’re doing and just get off the drugs. You have a life to live. Live it right. If you’re gone live, live it right. Get off them drugs. It’s killing you. It’s killing people.”
Crime Stoppers view these faces as victims of the real crime and that’s why they’ve partnered with Picayune police to get drugs out of Pearl River County. Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers CEO Lori Massey said, “It’s very brave of these families to come here today and to just allow us to put their loved ones on this billboard. We wanted something impactful and I think it hit the spot. ”
The billboard shows the faces of four victims. ‘They all Kill,’ the billboard says, urging people to report activity of drug dealers. The billboard is sponsored through Coast Electric’s Operation Round Up. Coast Electric Director of Communication April Lollar said, “Being here today and hearing stories from the families, this is such a worthwhile project that will hopefully help other people in this area and help them make a better decision and save lives when they see this billboard.”
Recovery groups shared tips on how to help loved ones. They encourage everyone to get free Narcan, a life-saving medicine administered during an overdose at odfree.org.