In the wake of the Nov. 14 shooting which left three University of Southern Mississippi students wounded, representatives from Southern Miss, the City of Hattiesburg, Hattiesburg Police Department, University Police Department and the Hattiesburg Fire Department have formed a committee looking for ways to keep entertainment seekers safe while having fun in the Hub City.
“We’re not here to make policy for the city,” said Southern Miss Dean of Students Dr. Eddie Holloway. “We’re here to assist the city in finding ways to make Hattiesburg safer.”
According to law enforcement officials, safety and security in many Hattiesburg night spots was an issue before the shooting which took place at Remington’s Hunt Club in the early morning hours of Nov. 14. That night Southern Miss students Martez Smith, Tim Green and Deddrick Jones where shot outside the club. The alleged triggerman, 29-year-old Travis “Taurus” Brown, is in custody charged with three counts of aggravated assault.
Holloway explained part of the safety and security issue is the size of many Hattiesburg clubs, some of which can hold hundreds of patrons. There is also the fact that individuals from a 45-50 miles radius pour into Hattiesburg to enjoy their weekend time off.
“Our group, which will have representatives from both Southern Miss and William Carey University, is looking at ways and means to make Hattiesburg a destination for weekend entertainment whereby providing adequate safety for our visitors and our residents,” explained Holloway.
It is expected the committee will look at a variety of options and best practices from other cities, similar to Hattiesburg, which are also considered to be “college towns.” These “best practices” are expected to include how clubs advertise, as well as promotions used to attract patrons.
“Ultimately the club owners will have to collectively agree to enforce whatever best practices are selected,” declared Holloway.