JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Earlier this year when a Jackson pastor was killed in front of his church, Governor Bryant committed to help the city with funding for a real-time crime center. However, Mayor Lumumba said he wanted to tie that funding to a conversation about gun control. As far as we know, that was the end of that discussion.
The city has a serious crime problem, but finally there is progress in the crime fighting battle. In his State of the City Address last week, Mayor Lumumba promised new security measures, and now up to 30 cameras are going up in high crime zones across the city. The city is also moving into an updated Real Time Crime Center to manage the operation. 30 cameras are a start, but the city probably needs 300 cameras – or more – to fully cover the city. Just like most initiatives, funding is an issue and these cameras are not cheap.
One benefit of the cameras is the ability to get accurate information on what happened, especially since many people are unwilling to talk for fear of retribution. Here’s what the Public Information Officer for the Jackson Police Department had to say, “A lot of times people don’t want to get involved in whatever the crimes are. They don’t want to talk to police or whatever. We have these cameras up now. So, we’re monitoring the situations. We’re monitoring the areas. So, if someone doesn’t necessarily want to talk, they can just roll the cameras back and we can see exactly what happened”.
So Consider This: Governor Bryant has two months left in office. If he was serious about the $4 Million offer, Mayor Lumumba needs to push to get that funding locked down before the end of the year. More cameras will make the city safer, solve crimes quicker and get more criminals off the streets. Having a broader discussion about gun control can take place at another time and shouldn’t impact getting more cameras up and running.