Consider This: Jackson Leadership Is Failing

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 5:49 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Jackson City Council finally took action this week that might have an impact on the crime epidemic by passing two ordinances.

One is focused on a moratorium on bars in downtown Jackson and the second ordinance holds parents accountable for the behavior of their children.

Up until this point, leadership has done little to make Jackson safe. We are now halfway through the year and the city is on track to match the record number of murders that happened in 2021.

153 people were killed in Jackson last year and more than 70 people have been murdered in 2022. People are being killed at a higher rate per-capita in the Capital City than any other major city in the United States.

A recent CBS News special report found the city only has eight homicide detectives. Eight people to investigate hundreds of murders. Families can go weeks, months, or even longer before they hear from a detective. That’s a crime in itself.

If you’re a Jacksonian, we challenge you to answer this question: Other than the two ordinances passed this week, what is your mayor and city council representative doing to fight crime in the capital city?

It seems they are more concerned with fighting over who collects your garbage than trying to keep people from being gunned down in the streets.

Why are the mayor, city council and Jackson police not having daily crime meetings? Why is the Real Time Command Center, one of the most positive projects in recent years, still not fully staffed around the clock 365 days a year?

Why is the misdemeanor jail not on a fast track to get up and running? Why is city leadership not meeting with state leadership and county leadership every week to work together in solidarity to make the state capital safer?

Based on the turnout for recent elections, it seems Jacksonians have given up.

In the 2021 municipal election, there were 19,051 people who took the time to vote. Jackson doesn’t keep track of how many registered voters live in the city, but we do know there are around 166,000 registered voters in Hinds County.

Assuming 70% of those people live in Jackson, that’s around 116,000 voters, which means only 16% of registered voters in Jackson decided who would serve as mayor and on council.

Sadly, the next city election is not until 2025, so the current representation has three more years in office.

If this crime epidemic persists and there continues to be little to no action, none of the people in office deserve to be re-elected.

Jackson city leaders need to get their heads out of the sand, acknowledge the reality of what’s going on, come up with a plan, engage state and county leaders as partners, and activate the plan to make Jackson safe.

How many more people need to die before the city takes action? Time is running out.

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