Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. introduced two new pieces of technology designed to make the Jackson Police Department more efficient, transparent and accountable.
The first demonstration was technology that will allow the city to track city vehicles in real-time on an online map of the city. Johnson said they have already outfitted 50 city vehicles - including work trucks, police cars and heavy equipment - with trackers and are working out the bugs before they put the technology into all the vehicles.
The Mayor said that technology will make the vehicle operators more accountable, make the police department more efficient in their coverage and reduce the carbon footprint from vehicles in the city by helping them map out the most direct route to their destinations. That project has a $55,000 price tag.
The second piece of technology is an e-ticketing system that will allow traffic stops to easier and more efficient. The handheld devices, already issued to 37 officers, allow them to scan a drivers license using a card-swiper, and enter the information for the citation digitally. If he/she issues a ticket, it will be printed instead of hand-written, and the information will insert itself directly in the county or municipal clerk's office instead of having to be filed manually.
Those devices cost $3,300 per unit.
Mayor Johnson also gave out the COMSTAT trophy for the most-improved precinct to Precinct 1 (Jackson's south side), where crime has dropped nearly 30 percent in the past three months.
The JFP received this release from the mayor's office Wednesday afternoon:
South Jackson has dramatic decrease in property crimes
Recent Jackson Police Department statistics reveal that South Jackson’s Precinct 1 led the entire city in crime reduction for the first Quarter of 2013. The Precinct saw a 28.9% drop in overall crime. Property crime decreased by 28.2% and violent crime decreased by 32.5%.
Each quarter the Jackson Police Department recognizes the precinct with the greatest drop in overall crime. That precinct is then awarded the traveling COMSTAT Trophy.
For Precinct One to win the COMSTAT Trophy represents a “remarkable turnaround” said, Police Chief Rebecca Coleman.
She further stated, “This is a tribute to the hard work, dedication and perseverance of the police officers that are assigned to Precinct One. Working in conjunction with the citizens of South Jackson, and implementing several crime fighting strategies, we have seen great success. Commander Wallace of Precinct 1 and her staff are very deserving of this recognition.”
In recent years, Precinct 1 has routinely led the city in the number of House Burglaries committed. They have averaged as many as fifty a week. Beginning in 2009, Chief Coleman implemented strategies aimed towards reducing these numbers. These included the following:
- Increasing the number of beats from 8 – 10
- Re-assigning support personnel to patrol duty in areas most affected
- Using the D.A.R.T. Unit in these areas as much as possible
“The biggest impact we have seen has been in the individual beat officer’s response time, said Coleman. “We’ve noted that a large number of would be burglars have been caught in the act by quick responding patrol officers and observant citizens who are aware of what’s happening in their own neighborhoods. Through these collaborative efforts, Precinct 1 has sustained dramatically fewer burglaries.
As a department, we recognize that one burglary is too many for those who are victimized, and we are constantly striving to decrease these incidents even more,” said Coleman.