‘We are breaking the glass ceiling’: Penny Jones becomes first female police chief in Vicksburg
VICKSBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - History was made in Vicksburg on Tuesday.
Penny Jones is now the first female police chief at the Vicksburg Police Department. She was recommended by Mayor George Flaggs last week and the Vicksburg Board of Aldermen voted to confirm the nomination.
Surrounded by family and friends, newly-appointed Police Chief Jones took the oath of office. The more than 20-year police veteran says it is exciting to carry the title of the first female police chief in the city, saying, “I do feel like a history maker. Again, we are breaking the glass ceiling.”
She knows there are challenges ahead; challenges Flaggs talked about during Tuesday’s event.
“My priority is crime, crime, crime,” he stated. “We have to set an example that the city is going to be safe.”
Jones agrees and says it starts with increasing manpower at the department while reconnecting and building trust in the community.
“My first order of business is to regroup, recruit and retain,” she said. “We want the best qualified officers we can get, so we can get some training done, get these guys back in the neighborhood. So we can do some community policing and we can all get back on the same page.”
Many cities across the state and country are seeing crime rise at an alarming rate. Here in Vicksburg, there have been at least two homicides and more than two dozen shootings
Jones says what she’ll do differently is create a crime control plan that targets hot spots and high-crime neighborhoods.
“My plan is to create a strategic crime strategy. Plan data, feedback and trends in certain areas to combat crime. We’re also going to use the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to help prevent crime so we can all work together as a team. Because it takes a team to make this happen.”
Three new deputy police chiefs were also sworn in Tuesday, including the head of the new gang prevention unit.
Jones will replace Milton Moore. Moore was not reappointed by Mayor Flaggs.
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