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Mississippi Governor Announces Law Enforcement Ops to Stem Capital City Crime *Centurion Insurance AFS*

Feb 15, 2024 (0) comment , , , , , , , , , , , ,


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Law enforcement officials have surged local, state and federal resources to Mississippi’s capital city for a new operation aimed at curbing violent crime, drug trafficking and other offenses, Gov. Tate Reeves announced Tuesday.

Reeves and other officials provided few details of what the operation would entail on the ground, but said Jackson would see an increased police presence. The city has nation-leading homicide statistics, and arguments over the best way to reduce crime in the city have divided local and state leaders.

But Reeves, a Republican, and Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, a Democrat, said they have come together around Operation Unified. The initiative targeting drug traffickes and violent criminals began in January with the help of numerous agencies.

“Jacksonians deserve to live in peace, and they should not have to fear for their safety while running errands or commuting to work,” Reeves said. “Together with our local and federal partners, we will put a stop to it.”

The participating agencies include the Jackson Police Department, the state-run Capitol Police, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Reeves said the agencies would focus on reversing Jackson’s high homicide rate.

WLBT-TV, a local news station, looked at data from Jackson and other large cities to measure homicides based on population size. In January, the outlet found that even though Jackson’s homicide rate had dropped for two consecutive years, it still led the nation in killings per capita in 2023. The city of almost 150,000 recorded 118 killings last year.

The state’s white Republican leaders and the city’s mostly Black Democratic leaders have disagreed in the past over the best way to combat crime. Reeves signed a law in 2023 to expand the territory of the Capitol Police and create a state-run court in part of Jackson with judges that are appointed rather than elected. Many Democrats have said the law is discriminatory and that more resources should be used for crime prevention. The law was upheld in federal court after an NAACP lawsuit.

On Tuesday, Lumumba said state and local leaders were moving beyond their disagreements, with the shared aim of keeping residents safe.

“I hope that as we move forward, we can pledge to the residents of Jackson that our goal will not be for them to feel policed, but to feel protected,” Lumumba said.

Photo: Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, left, and Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves, shake hands after the governor announced a major public safety operation for the city of Jackson. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Copyright 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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