JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - One year ago, the first week of 2019, we presented a commentary on the excessive crime in our capital city. 2018 had just ended and 84 people in Jackson were dead from homicides. Here we are, one year later, and nothing has changed. 82 people were killed in Jackson in 2019. In two years nearly 170 people have died. Let that sink in… nearly 170 people were killed in Jackson over a two-year period.
US Attorney Mike Hurst was right to speak up and take Jackson leaders to task for this situation. Not only elected officials and law enforcement, but especially the judicial system that keeps letting dangerous, repeat offenders back on the street. Something must change. The people of Jackson are fed up with the crime, the gangs, the murders, having to bury sons, daughters, moms, dads, sisters and brothers.
Nothing is more important than getting a grip on this out of control crime. It’s killing the people of Jackson and killing the city itself. Many parts of Jackson look like an abandoned wasteland. Why aren’t city leaders holding property owners accountable to clean up their dilapidated buildings and overgrown properties? When your neighborhood looks like a war zone, when you constantly hear gunfire, when you’re scared to go outside, when there seems to be no opportunity, of course crime will flourish.
As Mike Hurst said, quit denying there is a problem. Nearly 170 people killed in just two years should cause everyone to get their heads out of the sand. Not committing every resource, including redirecting funds from less impactful projects like a zoo relaunch, is also criminal. Jacksonians deserve to live in a safe city. It should be the number one responsibility for Jackson’s city leaders. Focus on what is important