JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Bringing in more officers to help fight crime.
That’s a goal the Jackson city council is trying to accomplish as the homicide count surpasses triple digits for the year.
“We need to treat this as an emergency because it is an emergency," said Kenneth Stokes, Ward 3 councilman. "People are losing their lives.”
Nearly a week since the city council unanimously voted to call on state, federal, and local law enforcement to help make the city safer, there have been multiple homicides.
As of right now, Stokes said the help the city is wanting hasn’t come on board.
The councilman said he’s talked with the Hinds County Sheriffs Department.
According to Stokes, HCSO is willing to help, but there’s only one thing getting in the way.
“The issue is the city of Jackson putting up the money," said Stokes. "Last week they hired about 11 more deputies, but we need more than 11, but they can’t afford it, so it’s the city of Jackson’s responsibility to pay for these deputies to make sure the city is safe.”
Stokes said he’s also been in communication with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who told him they’re also in favor of helping JPD.
However, Stokes said that decision must come from a higher power.
“The U.S. attorney stated that the Attorney General for the United States of America would have to make that decision, so we’re still on a holding pattern,” he said.
Council president Aaron Banks said he knows the city needs to act quickly on this issue.
He hopes to have all agencies on board up by the end of the month.
In order for that to happen, Banks said it’s going to take all parties coming together wanting to turn this idea from just a discussion, to a reality.
“It’s the chief sitting down with these other agencies and saying, where can you help us? What can you do? It’s one thing what we are we requesting as a council, but there has to be that same appetite on the other side as far as the chief is concerned in requesting the help himself, and wanting to sit down with leaders from other jurisdictions, and other agencies to help us deal with that, so we are going to be pushing the needle a little harder on that,” said Banks.
The Jackson City Council will meet again next Tuesday.
Councilman Stokes said he’s going to ask the board to pay the sheriff’s department $500,000 to hire more deputies.
Stokes believes that will give the HCSO more man power to assist JPD.
Councilman Banks said he’s open to having that conversation with council members.