The tension between metro law enforcement agencies is not good. This week the home of a Pearl police officer was riddled with bullets, one law enforcement agency placing part of the blame on Councilman Kenneth Stokes’ incendiary remarks encouraging people to throw things at police officers who enter Jackson from surrounding communities.
A car chase this week by Pearl Police officers is being criticized by Jackson Police leaders, saying the high-speed chases into Jackson are unnecessary and need to stop.
I believe most of us agree that Councilman Stokes suggestions are totally unacceptable. Encouraging harm on anyone, especially people who are sworn to serve and protect, is ludicrous.
When it comes to police pursuits, it is understandable, even expected, that officers want to apprehend someone who may have committed a crime. When that person starts to flee, pursuing the suspect is what officers are taught to do. However, the uncertainty of what can happen in a high-speed chase, and the dangerous situation it can create for other drivers and pedestrians, is what makes that decision to pursue or not pursue so serious.
Chasing someone who committed murder is different than chasing someone wanted for shoplifting and the seriousness of the crime should be considered.
At the end of the day, law enforcement agencies across the region need to work together. Someone needs to step up, get the groups together, work through the differences and develop a plan that will make all metro communities safer.
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