Officers urge all to be ‘mean as snakes’ when it comes to fighting crime

Published 6:14 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

When it comes to taking a bite out of crime, Doug Arp wants people to be as mean as snakes.

Arp, who in the past has brought attention to the National Night Out anti-crime program, has gotten his point across through stunts like spending a week in a trash dmpster or an ice box.

The past two years have been toned down, but he has been able to get his help from some friends from the Jackson Zoo — snakes.

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This year, his friends included a grey rat snake and a ball python to carry the message to a crowd of about 30 people who gathered under the trees at the intersection of Jackson and Cherry streets.

“When you say, ‘Take a bite out of crime,’ a snake is a good thing for that,” Arp said of his decision to use snakes in the program. Just like any animal, if you treat them with respect, like people should law enforcement with respect, they are fine. “Just like snakes, you need to know the good ones from the bad.”

Tuesday afternoon’s event was the kickoff for several National Night Out Against Crime programs. One observance was in the Drummond Street/Fostoria area, and another was at the City Park pavilion.

Arp and the snakes weren’t the only ones visiting the crowds and sending a message supporting law enforcement. The program had some somber moments, as people were asked to remember the two Brookhaven police officers and the state trooper who were killed over the weekend.

“This is such a great occasion for the community to get together to work on what’s so important — keeping our homes safe and our communities livable and attractive to people,” said William L. Waller Jr., chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court.

“It’s important that the community understands their own neighborhoods, their own streets and subdivisions,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said.

“To be aware of what is going on and report things to law enforcement. You know your neighborhoods better than we do, and people need to get involved.

“Crime prevention is something that happens all year, not just one night a year on National Night Out. Get out in your community and get to know your neighbors. Crime prevention is everybody’s business.”

District Attorney Ricky Smith said people need to appreciate law enforcement, adding, “That’s what’s good about National Night Out, it brings people together and also allows officers to interact with those neighborhood watch meetings so people get to know who the men and women are who’s protecting them.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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