Credible Messenger program announced to help community prevent violence in Jackson

Updated: Jan. 10, 2020 at 4:07 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A new program to address and prevent violence is coming to the city of Jackson.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba spoke on violence in the city and a few of the ways that it will be addressed in the coming year.

Rukia Lumumba Executive Director of the People’s Advocate Institute, and sister to Mayor Lumumba, detailed the Credible Messenger program which is set to launch in mid-spring.

She said for the past 11 months, workers have been canvassing neighborhoods to find out which are most effected by violence and need immediate intervention.

She says that volunteers have been working with community experts who have experienced violence first hand. They’ve spoken with people who have perpetrated violence as well as those targeted as victims. They met with surgeons and educators and others who have been affected by violence.

During community safety planning meetings over the course of those 11 months, the following recommendations came about for the Credible Messenger program:

  • Vocational and technical training and employment opportunities
  • Housing support
  • Mental health programs
  • Mediation and violence deescalation tactics

The new program is designed to fight against the narrative that Jackson is an unsafe city and will hopefully intervene to stop violence before it happens.

Mayor Lumumba said that city administration is not capable of combating the violence across the city alone, and that the community is needed to help put an end to the violence.

The mayor also spoke on the work his administration has been taking to respond to violence. He mentioned adding new police officers to the force and the use of the new ‘Real Time’ crime cameras across the city. David Kenney will have more on this tonight at 6 p.m. on WLBT.

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