Vicksburg mayor wants more bail restrictions in effort to reduce violent crime

Mayor wants stricter bail requirements for offenders who pose threat to city

VICKSBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - Ankle monitors and curfews, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs is requesting area judges establish these conditions as part of bail for offenders. The move comes as violent crime rises in the city.

Police agree and claim most of the crime is committed by repeat offenders.

Mayor George Flaggs wants to stop gun violence on the streets of Vicksburg, and he’s calling on local judges to help do that by asking for their help in getting tougher on local crime.

“We will never have law and order if we can’t remove these people who continue to want to violate the law and order of the city.”

Mayor Flaggs says while the police can make arrests when there is a crime, more needs to be done.

He sent a letter to the county, municipal, and circuit court judges Monday requesting to add additional conditions such as electronic monitoring for those charged with firearm offenses.

“If there is a person that goes before them for any reason for a firearm in the City of Vicksburg or any gun related violence, consider by all means to put an electronic bracelet on them and bond at the same time,” said Flaggs.

He also is asking for a curfew of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. expect for an emergency medical need and/or work.

“All this is an extension of house arrest and allow us to identify and track the person been charged in court of law. This is one way to stop the crime on the streets of Vicksburg.”

While some people disagree with the mayor’s proposal because they see it as too harsh, the Vicksburg Police Department support it.

“It will help the residents feel safe and the victims feel safer,” said Deputy Chief Bobby Stewart.

According to Vicksburg’s crime stats from 2015 to 2020, weapon discharge arrests are slightly down from last year, but the incidents are up.

Shorts fired incidents have also decreased.

Police fear the numbers will keep growing if no aggressive steps are taken.

“I think it will reduce the number of gun crimes we are having, and it will help the offender in a way if they make a false accusation while they are out on bond,” said Stewart.

Warren County Justice Court Judge Edwin Woods releasing a statement saying in part:

“The use of electronic monitoring is expressly allowed by law. When setting bail in any criminal case, a judge must balance the rights of the accused with public safety. Cases must be considered on an individual basis and electronic monitoring might be an appropriate condition for a judge to impose when releasing an accused prior to trial.”

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