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Council members frustrated over lack of information from JPD

Department remains silent on personnel numbers, crime statistics for months
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 7:53 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Some Jackson city council members said they’re not getting a clear picture of crime in the Capital City or the police department entrusted with tackling it.

The statements come days after JPD released information about the factors that lead to homicides, but didn’t say how recent that data was.

JPD posted the information on its Facebook page Tuesday, listing the factors associated with killings in Jackson, though the department didn’t say what year that information represents.

That being said, a bigger picture of crime isn’t being provided either.

JPD hasn’t updated its monthly crime statistics on the city’s website in fourteen months.

That’s something JPD Chief James Davis assured us he would do after a 3 On Your Side investigation in 2019 revealed that some of the department’s statistics weren’t accurate, painting a picture of a city that was safer than it actually was.

“I’m disappointed with responsiveness from JPD as it regards to crime statistics,” Ward 1 Councilman Ashby Foote said. “We get informed about specific incidences, but what I’m more worried about right now is the level of manning of JPD. All the different departments, the number of sworn officers, that sort of information. We’re having a hard time getting that up-to-date information.”

Ward 6 Councilman Aaron Banks said the department’s secrecy extends beyond crime statistics, though.

“The picture or perception of crime in Jackson is not, I think, is not at a place where any of us will like it,” Banks said.

Banks and Foote want to know what kind of manpower issues the department faces so they can help anticipate funding.

Now Banks is calling for a public safety meeting to find all of that out if Chief James Davis will show up.

“We were asked to give at least a week’s notice. Well, this time we’ve given a week, two weeks, you know, you know, we’ve wanted to go a month out. And now we’re at the point of ‘not being able to attend any meetings, but we’ll get you a memo,’” Banks said.

Banks voted against confirming Davis as police chief last month.

Foote voted for the chief -- in part -- because of promises Davis made that Foote said haven’t been kept.

“The part of my vote that informed my vote relied on him, that he was going to reach out and get reinforcements from the county, state and federal level,” Foote said. “I haven’t seen evidence of it. But we got to do it right now.”

Banks wants his colleagues to remain hopeful that they can get this information and begin to deal with Jackson’s crime problems.

“We can’t afford to lose another life. We can’t afford to keep having incidents where people are fearful. We can’t afford to continue to have the same perception,” Banks said.

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