CENTREVILLE, Miss. (WJTV) – In Southwest Mississippi, the crime crisis centers around drugs. Police in Centreville are working to get a handle on it.

“We do check points on weekends. and people come across the checkpoints with different types of drugs on them like meth, crack cocaine, or just marijuana, or ecstasy pills,” said Chief Edward Arbuthnot.

He said shootings in the town are also on the rise. However, solving the cases is hard. The chief said people are afraid to speak out.

“Nobody wants to get involved. You’ve got shootings going around, and they don’t want to say anything because they will have to testify and feel like their house may get shot up, so it’s kind of hard,” said Arbuthnot.

Since December 2020, police have taken more than 30 guns off the streets. They worked with the county to increase police presences in the area. They plan to build beyond that.

“The chief next door in Woodville will probably going to come up with a criminal team, and we will all come together to build our own task force.”

Officer Matthew Wallace lives in the community. He said crime has to be taken care of, so the town can thrive.

“We just want to clean it up and make sure the town is safe and the people are safe, bring in businesses into Centreville and have things going,” Wallace said.