A Sign Of The Times

By Dennis Turner

A few years ago, as neighbors in one of Southaven’s oldest neighborhoods
saw crime growing on their streets… people banded together to watch
out for each other in a newly-energized neighborhood watch.

It resulted in these signs that don’t mince words.

People in Colonial Hills watch… and the call the cops.

“It took off really quick once we started getting some neighbors
together and they wanted to do something that would let the criminals
know that we’re not gonna stand by and just let ’em come in” said Ronnie Hale co-coordinator of Colonial Hills Neighborhood Watch.

Then in January, just a few miles down the road, this shootout became
the latest example of cops and criminals coming together with deadly

It left one suspect dead, and two DeSoto County Sheriff’s Deputies shot.

“ I was actually at The Med, the night that our officers were shot
up on Stateline Road”.

DeSoto County Supervisor Mark Gardner remembers hearing about the Colonial
Hills signs… and now wants to post similar ones along access points
from Memphis to DeSoto County.

He says the signs would carry a simple message.

“We’re tough on crime, you know, criminals beware, you’re entering
DeSoto County. 

He believes, Mississppi’s reputation as a tough-on-crime state, a strict
three strikes policy, and law-and-order judges, might prompt some bad
guys  to think twice, before crossing the state line to do their dirtywork.

“Anytime you live in a border county with jurisdictional lines
where you cross, people sometimes think they can slip across the
jurisdictional lines, slip back, commit a crime,  and then again there’s
those cases sometimes they just don’t even know where they were”.

Some say, that’s what happened the night of the Stateline Road shootout.

Either way, politicians and neighbors alike seem agree… there’s
nothing wrong with fair warning, and then a swift and stern response.

Hale says, “Even if it deters one or two people from coming down here and
making them go somewhere else, then I’m all for it”.

Hale and Gardner say it couldn’t help but keeps streets a little safer,
for both DeSoto Countians and those who protect them.

Dennis Turner reporting for desoto county newsroom dot com