A message from Chief Leonard Papania
The Community Watch Program is a highly successful effort that has been in existence for more than thirty years in cities and counties across America. It provides a unique infrastructure that brings together local officials, law enforcement and citizens to protect our communities. Around the country, neighbors have banded together to create Community Watch programs. They understand that the active participation of neighborhood residents is a critical element in community safety. Through a willingness to look out for suspicious activity in their neighborhood, and report such activity to law enforcement officials, residents have taken a major step toward reclaiming their neighborhoods. These programs contribute to making people throughout a community feel more secure and less fearful. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, the need for strengthening and securing our communities has become even more critical, and Community Watch groups have taken on greater significance. In addition to serving a crime prevention role, Community Watch programs can also be used as the foundation for bringing residents together to focus on other issues such as disaster preparedness and evacuation drills and exercises. As your Chief of Police, I am committed to placing a high priority on Gulfport’s Community Watch Programs. The men and women of the Gulfport Police Department understand and recognize the importance of working as a team to solve our community’s problems. We would like to encourage each and every resident to organize and motivate each other to participate in this endeavor to keep the City of Gulfport a safe place to live, work, and play. To set up a Community Watch in your area or to find out if there is an active community watch you can participate in, please fill out the form below.