Residents, councilman voice feelings on governor’s new safety initiative

Published: Jul. 18, 2021 at 10:16 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A new safety initiative is in full effect to help combat crime in Jackson.

The initiative allows State Highway Patrol, Bureau of Narcotics, and State Capitol Police to patrol certain areas of the city, including along the interstates and state highways.

Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes began his press conference Sunday by thanking Governor Tate Reeves and state leaders for making protecting and saving lives a priority in the Capital City.

“When he’s wrong, I’m out there in front of the governor’s mansion picketing and protesting and saying he’s wrong,” Councilman Stokes said. “But when he’s right, I want to sit out here in front of city hall and say, thank you.”

Jackson’s homicide rate has reached a record high this year, and residents say they’re constantly afraid.

“It’s scary. It’s very scary,” Jackson resident Carmen Thompson said. “That’s why I’m getting gas before the sun goes down.”

“Certain hours and times of the day, I try to get things done,” Jackson resident Jackie Stamps said. “Certain areas I try to avoid.”

Another resident believes the additional state law enforcement won’t make a difference in making her feel safer. She said she’d prefer to see changes made within the Jackson Police Department.

“If they patrolled more, if people in the community saw them more, if they were quicker at getting to emergency phone calls,” Jackson resident Tabatha Redmond said.

She doesn’t feel JPD has enough officers to keep everyone safe.

That’s part of the reason why Councilman Stokes said, along with the new safety initiative, it’s time for Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba and the Hinds County Board of Supervisors to execute the Interlocal Agreement that would bring additional sheriffs to the capital city. Something he said was requested months ago.

“Politics shouldn’t play a role in people dying,” Stokes said. “We got plenty of time for politics later, but let’s save some lives first. Let’s get this crime under control.”

Governor Reeves said this new initiative would free up JPD and the Hinds County Sherriff’s Office to address areas of the city where crime is more prominent.

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