Banks: JPD chief’s plan to combat violent crime will be unveiled Monday

Updated: Mar. 10, 2021 at 9:33 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - After weeks of requests from city leaders on specific strategies and needs from the Jackson Police Department, the agency’s police chief will reveal his plan to reduce violent crime next week, according to City Council President Aaron Banks.

Banks said last month it would be due at the next law enforcement ad hoc committee meeting, which has been scheduled for Monday at 1 p.m.

However, committee members say they have very specific requests they want to see before the plan can be approved.

“The city council is not going to be a rubber stamp on this plan,” said Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote.

It could be an uphill battle for Davis to win over council members when he gives his specific plan to address the city’s escalating violence.

The request came after members of the city’s law enforcement ad hoc committee had asked Davis and members of JPD’s command staff specific questions since last year on how they planned to handle this spike in violent crime.

“The law enforcement ad hoc committee sent a clear message to some of the specifics and some of the details that we want to see. And so my hope is that the chief was taking good notes,” Banks said.

Some of those notes include addressing the department’s morale, officer shortages and enforcement strategies.

Foote said he’s particularly concerned about a lack of detectives and how that undermines public confidence in JPD.

“We’re woefully short on investigative detectives that help us get to the bottom of these crimes,” Foote said. “[The public wants] to know that the perpetrator is going to be brought to justice. And we need to be effective in that. And right now we’re not.”

Right now, homicides in the city are up more than 40 percent over last year.

Foote said the first concrete step to reduce crime came more than a month ago, when Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba established a youth curfew to help protect those under the age of 18.

Since that curfew went into effect, homicides have declined slightly, but no one under the age of 18 has been killed.

“I think that it had an impact. And, you know, I think that we have to continue to look at more ways and more strategic outside of the box thinking ways to deal and address those issues,” Banks said.

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