‘It is out of control’: Residents, Councilman talk solutions as Jackson nears closer to having deadliest year ever
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The cycle of violence continues to plague the Capital City.
In the last seven days, there have been five homicides in Jackson, totaling 122 homicides so far this year, according to the WLBT homicide tracker. That’s six shy from tying last year’s record for the deadliest year ever.
As Edward Boddy watches his state’s capital continue to struggle with getting a grip on its killings, he has many questions about the senseless violence.
“When you kill somebody, why are you going and hiding?” he said. “Turn yourself in. If you’re brave enough to kill somebody, be brave enough to accept the punishment.”
Nearly half of all the city’s homicide victims have been under the age of 30.
Additionally, a triple homicide last Sunday took the lives of three people in their 20′s, including a Jackson State University student.
Mississippians like Boddy say they want to see more discipline for Jackson’s youth.
“I think anybody that doesn’t have a job and isn’t looking for a job should be forced to go in the military and go on the frontlines,” he said. “Want to kill somebody? Defend the country killing somebody.”
Jackson resident Sadie Hubbard said she’d like to see parents use religion as a means of teaching their kids the value of a life.
“We need Jesus in our hearts, not the devil,” Hubbard said. “That’s what it is now — the devil.”
Boddy said he’s losing faith in Jackson city leaders to come up with a response to the increase in violence.
“I don’t know anything that the police can do,” Boddy said. “I don’t know anything the mayor can do. I really don’t think anybody has the answer.”
But Ward 1 Jackson City Councilman Ashby Foote said council is constantly talking solutions.
For one, Foote said there needs to be more communication between the Jackson Police Department and city council.
He said council tried having a law enforcement subcommittee meeting last week, but Chief James Davis was out of town.
“Hopefully, we’ll have it this week,” Foote said. “We want to be updated on both the crime statistics but also the status of how many people we’ve got on the force and how many sworn officers the city has at this point in time.”
Additionally, Foote said the city needs to be more aggressive in reaching out to law enforcement officials at the county, state, and federal levels for help, especially for crimes like car theft.
“Carjacking is a federal crime, which means the U.S. Attorney’s office can handle that with federal law enforcement,” he said. “We need to turn every carjacking incident over to them.”
Foote said this would free up officers to combat the city’s more violent crime.
“It is out of control,” he said. “The homicides are terrible.”
Foote also said the pay raises for veteran JPD officers should help the department retain and recruit officers.
He said there aren’t enough investigators currently to out-police the city’s crime and that they have to show criminals that there will be consequences for their actions.
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