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Consider This: Fighting Crime in Jackson

Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 6:53 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - We don’t always agree with Governor Reeves, but we did when he focused on the fighting crime right here in Jackson during his recent State of the State address.

In 2020, our capital city set a record of 130 murders. In 2021, it increased to over 150 murders. And just today, less than four blocks from where we sit, less than one block from the Governor’s Mansion, we had a shootout in the middle of the day.

That is unacceptable. Let’s put these numbers in perspective. In the city of Atlanta, there has been a historic crime wave. People there are rushing to reform – electing new city leadership promising to combat the violence. In Atlanta, they saw 158 murders in 2021. In Jackson, Mississippi, even though Atlanta is more than triple our size, we saw roughly the same number of murders last year.

The rate of killings in Jackson is three times worse than Chicago. It is worse than St. Louis, Baltimore, and Memphis. The violence scars families for generations. Our community is torn apart by senseless acts of mayhem. If our state is to thrive, we need a capital city of order. Governed by laws, not abandoned to daily violence. We all have an interest in stopping this deadly cycle.

That’s why I want to work with the legislature to get you the support you need. It’s why I proposed doubling the size of our Capitol Police, so there will be more boots on the ground as you perform your shifts in the Capitol Complex Improvement District.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we have a lot of brave men and women in blue – there’s just not enough of them. Doubling the size of our Capitol Police, is the first, most immediate action we can take within the State’s jurisdiction. We must have the ability to do it, and we must do it. We also know that alone is not enough. Capturing violent criminals does nothing if our criminal justice system puts them right back on the streets.

I am eager to work with the legislature to develop resources for targeted prosecution and conviction of violent felons here. Catch and release has caused nothing but record crime and chaos. All of us can agree on that. We need to find those who are leading the efforts to flood our capital with illegal drugs and guns—and put them behind bars where they belong.

We need to bring focused attention to those orchestrating these efforts. Not to catch more people speeding or loitering. But to arrest, charge, and eradicate the ringleaders who make life hell for the peaceful residents of Jackson.

Over the past month, the Jackson Police Department has stepped up its presence across the city, cracking down on speeding and setting up roadblocks, which has led to the arrest of people who are wanted for all sorts of crimes.

Its Policing 101 and we are glad to see the department getting back to the basics by implementing these new initiatives.

With the ramped up JPD efforts, and collaboration between city, county, state and federal agencies, for the first time in many, many years there is legitimate reason to be optimistic about the future of Jackson.

If the Governor holds true to his promises, and the legislature supports it, we could see a transformation in the capital city, creating a much safer place for the people who call Jackson home and the businesses that choose to operate there.

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