Jackson 7th Most Improved in Morgan Quitno | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jackson 7th Most Improved in Morgan Quitno

Jackson was among the most improved cities in the new edition of the Morgan Quitno Annual Safest/Most Dangerous City ratings. Jackson, which ranked 42nd most dangerous overall, was the 7th most improved city, with a score 36.2 points higher than the previous year. If you count the metropolitan area, Jackson ranks 98th in most dangerous metropolitan areas. The survey included 371 cities.

The rankings cover 2005 and do not reflect recent growth in crime under the administration of Mayor Frank Melton, though they do include the first few months of the administration.

In 2004, Jackson fell out of the top-25 most dangerous cities for the first time since Morgan Quitno began issuing the reports in 1996. That year, Jackson moved from the 14th most dangerous to the 28th. The most recent report shows similar improvement, with another 14-spot improvement to 42nd.

Local politicians and editorial boards have long used Morgan-Quitno numbers to amp up fear about crime. Politicians from Haley Barbour to D.A. candidate Wilson Carroll to Frank Melton have grabbed the "dangerous" rankings when they're convenient, often not bothering to tell listeners that the rankings are always more than a year old by the time they are released. Nor have they discussed the fact that Jackson has steadily improved in the rankings in recent years.

The Clarion-Ledger made incessant reference to the Morgan-Quitno rankings when they showed Jackson among the 25 most dangerous cities but did not report upon Jackson's improved ranking in 2004. Thus far this year, Goliath has only run a short AP piece on the rankings with Jackson's ranking added at the bottom. There is no mention of the city's dramatic improvement.

The report named St. Louis, Mo., as the most dangerous city in 2005, and Belkin, N.J., as the safest. On average, crime is up slightly across the nation, with a modest decrease in property crime offset by an increase in violent crime.

See our coverage of last year's report.

Previous Comments

ID
89599
Comment

Did you see the C-L article about this?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-10-31T09:31:27-06:00
ID
89600
Comment

Regarding the C-L article, what gets me is the assine poll question associated with it: "Should Jackson relax crime-fighting efforts?" Uh...NO!

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-10-31T09:58:59-06:00
ID
89601
Comment

ejeff, I saw that and didn't see it. They just want a reaction.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-10-31T10:02:44-06:00
ID
89602
Comment

You're right, ejeff. That's a poll question for morons. If the Ledge's past spin of Morgan Quitno is any indication, before you know it, Melton will be claiming credit for this improvement that happened before he came. Will The Clarion-Ledger EVER admit that crime was falling dramatically under Johnson/Moore? Where are the editorials comparing Anderson's abysmal job (and public accountability) with that of Moore? Or, would that make them admit that they were wrong? It is such a remarkably bad newspaper.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-31T10:36:55-06:00
ID
89603
Comment

The CL posted their editorial after I posted this story. They mention that Jackson dropped out of the top 15 "in recent years," but they slide right over last year's report, which they ignored. That report showed vast improvement during the same period the CL was hammering the Johnson administration for failing to combat crime. And they're still playing the numbers-deceit game, asserting without evidence that improvement in the crime numbers was a deception perpetrated by the Johnson administration. If this deception was so widespread, so flawless, why is no one able to produce anything more than innuendo to support it? To state the obvious, how does one fake murder numbers, which have trended consistently with other crme? Finally, they continue to play the "perception" game. One would think they would be ashamed to even utter the word considering the mendacious way they deployed it in the past, but the CL is determined to hype Jackson crime no matter what the facts. If Jacksonians perceive higher crime today, it is because crime is higher. We can lay responsibility for that fact at the feet of our crime-fighting mayor, who plays a crime-fighter on TV but is incapable of or unwilling to act as a competent administrator, developing strategy for the police department and then stepping out of the way. The crime-fighting mayor has presided over a precipitous loss in police officers, and his idea of planning seems to be little more than announcing utterly impractical schemes such as guarding all banks with SWAT officers. To the extent that the CL foisted the mayor upon us, we can lay responsibility at their feet too.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-10-31T11:37:20-06:00
ID
89604
Comment

Investigative journalists would be nice; experienced editors with a broad worldview would be helpful; but at this point, the Clarion-Ledger simply needs to walk through their production department and get some people away from the keyboard. For instance, who wrote this poll question? I mean, WTF? [img]http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/images/site_images/poll.png[/img]

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-10-31T12:54:55-06:00
ID
89605
Comment

Just for kicks and grins I went ahead and voted in the poll and viewed the results. I also clicked the link "About These Questions" in the hopes that the answer would reveal something about why.the.question.is.so.stupid. No such luck, although I'm relieved to see that the Clarion-Ledger is unlikely to take any action as a result of this poll. (Actually, I would encourage them to view the lopsided results as at least an indication that the.question.is.remarkably.stupid.) [img]http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/images/site_images/poll2.png[/img] Seriously, though...just for a moment...think about it...someone at the Clarion-Ledger had to type that question in. Right? And presumably click a button marked "OK" or "Yes" when asked a question along the lines of "Are You Sure You Want To Post This Poll Question."

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2006-10-31T13:00:47-06:00
ID
89606
Comment

I'll say it again: The Clarion-Ledger must be the worst daily in the country. At least of its size. I just read today's editorial about Morgan-Quitno rankings. Oh. My. God. This is some of the most irreponsible "journalism" I've ever seen: They were supposedly brought into compliance then, but raised questions when the police stats showed continued declines, including a 21 percent drop in the city's overall crime rate in 2004. That didn't match public perceptions. Enough so, that then-mayoral candidate Frank Melton in April 2005 said: "Until we can authenticate these numbers, they don't really mean anything to me. The question to Jacksonians is: 'Do you feel safe?' " DO YOU FEEL SAFE??? OK, Ledge, first of all, these numbers are for last year, not this year. Whether we "feel safe" this year is a different question than last year—now that we have a mayor under indictment for violent crimes and getting young people to commit violent crimes, and a chief too timid to talk to the public or, apparently, to speak out against said mayor under indictment for violent crimes. Secondly, you people did everything in your frackin' power to scare the bejeezus out of Jacksonians (and suburbanites, more importantly) during the last administration and not acknowledge the improvements in crime because, apparently, it did fit your suburban political agenda. You sensationalized crime and twisted a "perception" sound bite that served your purposes, but not the city's. So now you have the balls to come along and and ask rudely, "Do you feel safe?" As if the Ledger cares. Worse, if y'all Ledger boys have *evidence* that the last adminstration was not reporting numbers correctly in the last few years of falling crime rates, then do the responsible and ethical journalism thang and CITE IT. If not, stop being the dumba$$ little pawns of the politicos whose interests are served by sensationalizing crime in Jackson. It is unethical to throw these kinds of accusations around without proof and you edit boys ought to be smart enough to know it. If y'all continue to say this crap about the cooked numbers without evidence, you are perpetuating some of the worst journalism I've ever seen. We are going to need to report y'all to the Federal Bureau of Journalistic Investigation. Or, at the very least, tell Editor & Publisher magazine or other journalistic watchdogs that actually care about real journalism. This. Is. Reprehensible. Get an ombudsman, gentleman. You've lost all perspective in the rush to cover your own tracks. Oh, and while we're examining your journalism, where is the Clarion-Ledger news story that explains the Morgan-Quitno findings separate from the editorial trying to spin them so that you don't look like dolts for crowing over the dangerous rankings in the past and then refusing to report the improvement during the last year of the Johnson administration? Just go straight to the spin cycle, eh? We're not idiots out here, Ledge. The cover-up of your own past sensationalistic reporting is apparent to anyone paying attention. And a lot of us are watching very closely these days. It's time to start serving this community.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-31T13:12:36-06:00
ID
89607
Comment

tell 'em, Ladd!!!

Author
Izzy
Date
2006-10-31T13:15:54-06:00
ID
89608
Comment

To the extent that the CL foisted the mayor upon us, we can lay responsibility at their feet too. Amen, Brian. Just read your post. The Clarion-Ledger bears major responsibility for not telling the public everything they needed to know about Mr. Melton. And he played them like a fiddle on the whole "crime-fighting" thing, and from the looks of this editorial, he's still playing them. A bit of lip service to Melton's failings at this point mean little if they will not retrace their steps and admit how they misrepresented PerceptionGate™ in the past and helped Mr. Melton get right where he is. And lest we forget that the Ledger editors knew (or should have known) that Melton was lying to a judge in Meridian when this same team of stellar editorial scribes wrote a glowing endorsement of him for mayor ... They owe the public a big fat apology. Then corporate ought to clean editorial house over there and try to start rebuilding faith in that newspaper with a new team at the helm. Right now, it's in the toilet, and everyone knows it. Of course, corporate probably doesn't really give a damn about Mississippi, as long as Newhouse keeps trotting out schemes to squish the competitors (who are telling the whole truth) in order to keep the profit margins high.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-31T13:22:06-06:00
ID
89609
Comment

The new Public Eye has a detailed analysis of all that is wack about Goliath's coverage of Morgan Quitno.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-11-01T11:59:18-06:00

COVID-19 has closed down the main sources of the JFP's revenue -- concerts, festivals, fundraisers, restaurants and bars. If everyone reading this article gives $5 or more, we should be able to continue publishing through the crisis. Please pay what you can to keep us reporting and publishing.

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