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TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s an effort to bring the community together and foster trust between citizens and the Tupelo police department.

A parade signaled the beginning of the 8th annual Community Forward Festival at Gum Tree Park. This year’s event was bigger than ever, perhaps because of the dedication of the new amphitheater at the park. It is a part of a major facelift at the park including new sidewalks, and a multi-purpose athletic field.

Tupelo City Councilwoman Nettie Davis says, the Community Forward Festival was started as a way for police and the community to work together.

“Many people have had a negative image about the police and the police are just here to protect us, so what we do is work together to plan activities. And each year it gets bigger.”

Davis says, most of the renovations should be completed sometime next month. The renovations came with a price tag of close to $1 million.

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