City leaders believe heavier police presence is key to fight ongoing crime

Some City Leaders In Jackson Believe Heavier Law Enforcement Presence Is One Way To Combat On-Going Crime Issues

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Within a span of 24 hours, six people were shot and killed in the Capital City.

The crime spree began just before noon on Friday when police responded to a home on Pinebrook Drive and discovered three people had been shot and killed.

Hours later, around 6 p.m., JPD responded to a scene on Winter Street and Rosemont Avenue.

Ward 5 Councilman is concerned with the city’s crime issues and said one of the recent homicides hits close to home.

“Kendarrius Robertson 26 years old, my mom taught him when he was in the third grade a Key Elementary (School), he was a part of my church’s summer camp and after school program for years, “said Banks, who also serves as the city council’s president.

Banks said the surge of violence has him lost for words.

“It is like wow, when you thought you knew what could be the answer, maybe you need to rethink it,” he expressed.

The council president says the most significant thing the city needs to combat the ongoing crime issues is a more prominent law enforcement presence.

“Visibility is your number one deterrent,” said Banks. “If you talk about the violent crimes that are happening, if they would have seen one or two officers, then the question is, would the same crime have happened.”

The Jackson Police Department is currently understaffed, which is also concerning to Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote.

“We are about 50 men short,” said Foote. “We are short in some of the key positions like detectives, and we have to address that. We cannot sit on the status quo and just hope things get better — hope is not a real strategy.”

One way the city is trying to address this key issue is through an inter-local agreement with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.

In March, the council agreed to pay the sheriff’s department $500,000 to have more deputies patrolling the streets.

As of now, the agreement is still awaiting approval from the county’s board of supervisors.

However, in the meantime, Foote said he wants the city to find more proactive measures it can implement to put a halt to escalating violence.

“I am not sure if there is a specific answer, but we have to use all the levers of power that we as a city council and the mayor have, it has to be utilized to address the crime epidemic, and the homicide epidemic, and the violent crime epidemic,” Foote explained. “We have to do that, and that means taking advantage of every opportunity and all of the tools we’ve got under in our toolbox. That includes going out and hiring additional policemen, using federal resources to do that, using the sheriff’s department to do that, and not sit and dither about what we are going to do.”

“We have got to get back to good ole community-oriented policing where if you see something on your block, you say something,” said Banks. “If you know somebody that’s doing something that’s taking them down the wrong path, do not be afraid to talk to them; try to intervene somewhere.”

So far in 2021, Jackson has seen 47 homicides and is on track to surpass last year’s record total of 128, according to our data.

An arrest has not been made in any of the homicide investigations this weekend.

If you have any information, you’re asked to contact the Jackson Police Department. Remember, you can report anonymously.

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