JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson leaders are taking a big step towards combating the violence in the Capitol City.
During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the board passed resolutions declaring a crisis of violent crime.
Councilmen Ashby Foote and Kenneth Stokes presented the measures.
The resolutions call for the city to call on federal, state, and local agencies to help the Jackson Police Department curb the violence.
This comes as the city sees a record number of homicides this year with more than 100.
“It sends a message to the bad guys out there that we are serious about addressing this,” said Ashby Foote, Ward 1 Councilman.
Since September 27th, Foote said there’s been a 217 percent increase in carjackings, a 57 percent increase in aggravated assaults, a 44 percent increase in homicides, a 41 percent increase in rape and sexual assaults and a 15 percent uptick in armed robberies.
“When people see a lot of negative headlines, whether it’s on the internet, or in the newspaper, or on TV, that makes them worry about Jackson, and what’s going on there, and are they going to be safe visiting Jackson, going and coming from restaurants in Jackson," said Foote. "We need to address that and be out front in talking about the fact that we’re being proactive and taking action to address the crime.”
Last month some members on the council were in favor of the federal program Operation Legend, which would have also brought in federal help.
However, not all members agreed on the program, but they did agree to bring in help, prompting Stokes and Foote to draft the new measures.
Now that city leaders have approved the resolutions, Stokes hopes it’ll bring solutions to reducing crime.
“The U.S. attorney will make the decision on which federal agencies, my order has it on there that the it’s the sheriff’s department (Hinds County) that will handle, and we hope lock up, and also handle any idea of being involved in any task force, and we want to make sure that the court system is going to be Hinds County Court Systems,” said Stokes, Ward 3 Councilman.
The next step is for the city to reach out to the outside agencies asking for them to come on board to help JPD fight crime.
Councilman Foote said he expects those conversations to start within the next 24 hours.