Tupelo Police release video in hopes of reducing gun crimes

The video is part of a strategy to educate and inform people about gun violence

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – The Tupelo Police Department is taking steps to cut down on gun violence, especially among young people.

The department has released a video featuring family members whose loved ones were killed during a party last year.

“All actions have consequences, so when these age group, roughly between 15 and 22, when they’re out with weapons doing violent acts, they’re not thinking 30 seconds beyond their act,” said Tupelo Police Chief John Quaka.

That is the main goal of a new video, just released by the Tupelo Police Department called “Gun Violence Awareness.”   The nine-minute video was produced by Premium Productions and features Police Chief John Quaka, and other officers.  It also has family members of the three young adults killed in a drive-by shooting last summer during a party, who talk about the aftermath and shock of losing a loved one unexpectedly in a senseless act.

“For me, Jessica was really kind of a free spirit, I’ll use that word.  She was controversial, but she tried to make her point, but very intelligent, giving and loving person,” said Orlando Pannell.

“Robben was outgoing, fun-loving, loved to be around his family, and friends, wanted to know what I was doing all the time, we would go to the mall together, out to eat, he was just an all-around, good young man,” said Bridgette Wilson.

“Always telling jokes, funny, loved to take pictures, in front of camera all the time, overall good kid,” said Sharon Dilworth.

The video also features Sergeant Michael Bowens asking for the public’s help when it comes to getting illegal guns off the streets.

“I think we’re lacking communication, a lot of people know who have guns and a lot of people won’t mention it, that’s what leads to senseless killings,” Sgt. Bowens said.

Chief Quaka says it will take the entire community working together, along with a stepped-up presence by his department.

“We need the three Ps involved, parents, pastors, and peers, and everybody in the community falls into one of those three groups. We had a very targeted safety checkpoint program last week, in response to a shooting at Theron Nichols park, and we, in the past week, recovered several weapons in possession of felons,” Chief Quaka said.

The video, community involvement, and safety checkpoints, are just several ways police are tackling the issue.  TPD will also host a firearms safety seminar early next month.

That firearms safety seminar takes place September 8th, at 6 PM at the Police Athletic League.



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