JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Jackson Police Department today posted its first updated crime statistics since February, a move that came after questions from 3 On Your Side to members of the JPD command staff over the department’s eight-month delay in providing them to the public.
The Uniform Crime Reports, which are different than the weekly COMSTAT reports JPD would publish sporadically online and on the city’s website, give more information in some types of major crime and completely eliminating others, like carjacking.
In January, our investigation found JPD had been releasing COMSTAT reports with inaccurate information on specific dates, dates those reports were released to the public through social media.
In the days after our investigation, JPD scrapped its COMSTAT meetings and the format altogether, with Chief James Davis declaring in February that they would release the same UCR documents the department sends to the Federal Bureau of Investigation each month.
City spokesperson Candice Cole echoed those remarks, telling 3 On Your Side in February that JPD was “in the process of transitioning from COMSTAT to UCR” and those reports would be posted on the 15th of each month.
Despite that promise, the city posted its first UCR data from February more than a month later, on March 21.
On April 3, a memo from Davis to Councilman Melvin Priester indicated the department never posted January’s report because employees with the city’s Information Systems division were still finalizing it.
Davis also cited manpower and software concerns as the reasons for future delays.
When reached for comment Thursday about the UCR reports that at that point had not been released, Davis deferred to Assistant Chief Ricky Robinson because he was out of town.
Robinson told 3 On Your Side Thursday afternoon that they were working on getting the documents on the city’s website.
Less than an hour later, those statistics were made available to the public.
3 On Your Side reached out to Jackson public information officer Meagan Gosa and Cole through email about the eight-month delay, but they did not respond.
3 On Your Side also asked multiple members of JPD’s command staff and public information team, including Sgt. Roderick Holmes, Davis, Deputy Chief Tina Wallace and Commander Tyrone Buckley, who at one time was over COMSTAT reports for the department.
Buckley, Holmes and Davis’ secretary, Gilda Coleman, indicated they read the email but did not respond.
It’s unclear, if the UCR reports were indeed sent to the FBI each month, why only February numbers had remained on the city of Jackson website until Thursday afternoon.