Photos by Sue WatsonHolly Springs Police Chief Dwight Harris talks about his department’s efforts to make the city safer.
One of the new SkyCops has been installed in the downtown area.
‘We are definitely watching’
Holly Springs now has four surveillance cameras placed in several areas in the city where there is loitering.
The latest two were just installed, one in a downtown area that has experienced some armed robberies, and another in the South Chesterman Street area.
Police department supervisors can access the screens from their desk computers or cell phones at any time.
“It has helped,” police chief Dwight Harris said. “The blue light denotes the police are watching. And we are definitely watching.”
The calls to these areas have been reduced by about 85 percent.
“That is why we chose to buy more cameras,” he said.
Also, habitual criminals who may be passing through these areas and who may have been involved in crime in other areas of the city can be identified.
Harris said the department instituted a street crime unit in December 2017.
“This is one of the tools we use,” he said. “The street crime unit targets drug trafficking and gang activity.
“Also, we are living in a time of terrorist threats. We’re just being proactive. It is sad to say this is what it has come to.”
Harris said citizens are thanking the city for installing the cameras and also are asking for surveillance in their neighborhoods.
“At the end of the day, we all want to feel safe in the place we call home,” the chief said. “It’s not a local problem. It’s a national problem. If you think about it, no criminal wants to be on video committing a crime.”
Harris said crime rates have been proven to go down in areas where cameras are located.
In other recent business, the Holly Springs Board of Aldermen approved the following claims:
• $4,000 payable to the Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District, for a Community Development Block Grant.
• $264 to Slaughter & Associates for an annexation study.
• $1,337 to Mercer Remodeling and Repair for work on Sims School.
• $1,712 to Mercer for repairs at the Eddie L. Smith Multi-Purpose Building.
• $1,872 payable to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
• $16,500 to Lieutenant Jeffries to replace steps, sidewalks and landing in front of City Hall.
• $8,000 for Social Justice weekend - $4,000 to Rust College and $4,000 to the Ida B.Wells Barnett Museum and Cultural Center.
• $210 for a Cannon copier at HSUD.
• $7,643 for a deductive amount on the Salem Bridge Water Relocation Project.
• $6,695 to Elliott & Britt Engineering for cast-iron gas line replacement work on the Salem Bridge Gas Relocation project.
• $10,488 to Elliott & Britt Engineering for work on the Salem Bridge Gas Relocation project (reimbursable by MDOT).
• $12,600 to Rappa Custom Homes for construction on Spring Hollow restroom project.
• $834 to Rappa Custom Homes for construction on Spring Hollow Park restroom project.
Other actions by the board of aldermen included:
• approval of Kelvin Buck as voting delegate and Bernita Fountain as an alternate delegate to the 2018 election of Mississippi Municipal League’s second vice president.
• approval of changes at HSUD. Michael Huckaby Jr. was promoted to full electrical inspector/customer service technician. The resignation of Kaci Flint as telephone operator was accepted. Two positions were approved for advertisement for a customer service/telephone operator.
Carol Yeager was promoted to payroll specialist. Yeager was given permission to attend the NST FMLA Compliance Update workshop in Tupelo. Tracy Holmes was transferred to new service clerk. Destin Wells and William Roberts were hired as full-time apprentice linemen I.
• approved purchase of a 2019 F-250 4X4 regular cab, LWB at $26,377.
• approval to purchase a 2019 F-250 4X4 extended cab regular bed at $28,032.
• approval of a permit for license to sell beer at 132 East College Avenue (The Apothecary).
• advancement of George Perry from part-time to full-time employee with Buildings and Grounds.