Jackson’s Interim Police Chief says he wants to reduce crime, recruit and retain officers, and curb youth violence

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 12:33 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The city of Jackson’s newly appointed interim police chief is no stranger to the department or to many residents in the Capital City.

Joseph Wade was appointed to the position on Friday by Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.

The veteran officer is stepping in after Chief James Davis retired.

“It is an absolute honor to have the opportunity to lead the men and women of the Jackson Police Department,” the interim police chief said. “I’m excited about the potential within the Jackson Police Department. I’m excited about the opportunities within the Jackson Police Department, and I’m excited about the greatness with the Jackson Police Department.”

During a Monday press conference, Wade expressed that he wants to be a part of the solution when it comes to fighting crime in Jackson. The veteran police officer said there are three things at the top of his priority list.

The first one is improving the quality of life in the city.

”That is my 1A, addressing violent crimes here in the city of Jackson,” said Wade. Next on the list is the recruitment and retention of police officers. Currently, there are 223 men and women working at JPD, according to Wade. Of that number, roughly 160 are assigned to patrol operations.

Wade said he wants to see that number grow.

”We want to recruit intelligent, highly motivated individuals to join the ranks of the Jackson Police Department,” said Wade. “We also have to retain the institutional knowledge that we have.”

Another priority is youth crime prevention. The longtime officer said violence among the youth is alarming. That’s why he wants to introduce that demographic to programs and activities that will keep them busy and out of trouble.

”I always hear about what a kid did, what a juvenile did,” the interim police chief explained. “We’ve got to have some type of intervention, some type of way that we can change the narrative and break the cycle of violence here in the city of Jackson.”

When it comes to activities for the youth, one program that’s about to get underway is JPD’s PALS youth basketball league.

It’s for kids ages six through 12 years old. Parents can sign their kids up for the league by going to the Police Training Academy, located at 3000 St. Charles Street in Jackson. The City of Jackson’s Parks and Recreation Dept. launches a new website for child-safe summer activities.

Click on the highlighted link for more information on summer activities.

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