JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s no secret Jackson is struggling to develop a plan to make the city safe and address the excessive, violent crime.
Part of the problem is the Jackson Police Department is understaffed and is woefully short of the number of officers needed to effectively patrol the city. 911 is also in a terrible state.
WLBT employees had to call 911 at two separate events the past week. On the first call it took more than an hour for someone to arrive, and an ambulance never arrived. The second instance took more than two hours for someone to arrive.
In Missouri, the state is taking a unique approach to fill its open law enforcement positions creating a partnership with HBCU Lincoln University.
They created a law enforcement basic training center at the school to attract minority recruits, creating more diversity in the officer ranks. Lincoln University currently offers a degree in criminal justice and the law enforcement training academy will be part of that program.
However, the school also accepts training academy recruits who are not pursuing academic degrees.
This creative thinking is what is needed here in Mississippi, especially in Jackson. Why can’t we create a similar program at Jackson State, working with city, county, and state police agencies to train these students, guaranteeing them a job when they finish the program?
Until the city overhauls it’s police operational plan, fills the huge number of JPD vacancies and revamps the entire law enforcement strategy, expect the murder rate to continue to rise, expect poor response times from 911, and expect more people and businesses to flee the city.
Maybe partnering with JSU on a law enforcement academy could be part of the overall plan to make Jackson safe again.