JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The City of Jackson has a real-time crime center in the works.
Progress has been made, but in our exclusive one on one with Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, he explains there are issues the city is working through to bring crime and criminals into clear focus.
Seeing is believing and cameras can certainly catch a criminal in the act. City leaders and Mayor Lumumba have been working for months to bring a real-time crime cameras to the Capital City.
In our exclusive interview, the mayor explained some of the setbacks.
Mayor Lumumba said, “One of the primary things that we wanted to do to move that project forward was secure the Mississippi Pearl River Basin Building, and we are finally concluding that process. We have a few cameras and a few monitors on the cameras that we have across the city that we are ready to display and watch.”
The mayor says funding is another issue.
“We need some more funding to see that go into completion, but we are excited about what we have right now," he said. “We have invested in some cameras at various intersections across the city but it is not the full effort that we anticipate and expect."
According to Mayor Lumumba, it is a major investment.
“Not only is it an investment in the cameras, you have the maintenance and the upkeep of those cameras and you have the actual monitoring system that will allow us to do facial recognition, allows us to track a vehicle throughout the system. All of these things," he said. “So this isn’t simply just putting up the cameras that we may see at Walmart on a few poles. This is a very intricate system that will enable our police department to further their efforts."
One area that is a challenge is south Jackson.
“South Jackson in particular does not have as much fiber running through [south Jackson] as other portions of the city," said Mayor Lumumba. "And so we will take some time in order to make the investment that we get to that area.”
The Mayor says the city is also working with business and private land owners.
“Ultimately we want to do something like, called blue light or red light, whatever stores. And these would be stores that would be a light outside the store, and what that signals is that this is a store that is on the circuit with the city and they have a camera system that the city can look into," said Mayor Lumumba.
So far, there is no date set for when the cameras will be up and running, but Mayor Lumumba says his office is working diligently to handle all the issues and have the system ready to go as soon as they possibly can.