Natchez sees drop in crime thanks to crime cameras, community policing

Natchez sees drop in crime thanks to crime cameras, community policing

Natchez, Miss. (WLBT) - The city of Natchez is reporting a drop in crime on its streets.

Police department statistics show from the year 2018 to August 2019, violent crimes, burglaries, and aggravated assaults are all down.

“Any type of video technology serves as a deterrent and it sends a message to the criminals that Natchez-Adams County is not the place for them,” said Mayor Darryl V. Grennell.

The Mayor of Natchez says he is passionate about keeping the city crime-free and Chief Walter Armstrong couldn’t agree more.

That’s one major reason the police department signed up for the Project NOLA Crime Cameras program back in 2018. Since then, Natchez has installed more than 22 cameras in the city that are now being monitored by the police department.

Some cameras can even detect active gunfire which has lead to an arrest earlier this year.

“Being transparent, we can collect evidence, we can see if any evidence has been tampered with. Our solve-ability rate goes up when we present this type of info to a jury or the courts,” said Chief Walter Armstrong.

The chief also points out that community policing as well local, state and federal partnerships have also been a big help in fighting crime.

For example, in 2018, the city experienced 12 homicides. Thanks to the cameras, in 2019, the city has experienced one homicide and one felony child abuse case that resulted in the death of a four-year-old.

“Those are the two deaths, but the homicide rate has decreased by more than 90 percent since that of last year," said Armstrong.

Resident Riccardo Giani is a neighborhood watch captain in the city of Natchez. He is pleased to hear the police department is finding creative ways to prevent crime.

“Organizing community watch groups, constant engagement from your police department, I think that all plays a role in sustaining and growing a prosperous environment,” said Giani.

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