JPD Honors Officers; Crime Drops For The Week | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

JPD Honors Officers; Crime Drops For The Week

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Jackson Police Department command staff recognized a number of officers for outstanding service at its weekly meeting this morning. Chief Rebecca Coleman commended the department's investigations division for the apprehension Tuesday of Bennie Gunn and Dante Evans. Gunn and Evan face murder charges for the shooting of William Morris outside a Medgar Evers Boulevard convenience store Sept. 10 They also face charges for allegedly robbing the E.Com Lodge on Interstate 55 Sunday and shooting the hotel clerk and his stepson. Philadelphia police apprehended the two men in Leake County after a chase, and JPD detectives transported them to Jackson.

"I think the investigations division needs kudos in regards to the arrests yesterday," Coleman said. "It was their aggressive natures ... that led us to a resolution on this murder and these aggravated assaults."

Precinct 3 Officer Mark Coleman received the department's August Officer of the Month award, for his role in the July 16 arrest of Andrew Bingham. An informant told Coleman that he suspected Bingham was responsible for the murder of a man found on Sunset Drive. Coleman arranged a briefing for officers and led the team that arrested Bingham. Bingham later confessed to the murder.

Command staff also reviewed weekly crime numbers, which showed an 18 percent drop in major crimes from the previous week. Officers reported 182 total property crimes, down from 226 the previous week, and 35 violent crimes, four fewer than the week before. House burglaries, the city's most commonly reported crime, dropped 32 percent last week, from 96 to 65.

Three of the department's four main precincts reported crime decreases for the week, with only northeast Jackson's Precinct 1 reporting an increase, from 62 to 70 total crimes.

Crime numbers are still up for the year, compared to 2009. Officers have reported 7,574 property crimes this year, compared to 7,419 by this time last year, and 1,303 violent crimes, compared to 1,054 in 2009.

Assistant Police Chief Lee Vance pointed out the arrest of a burglary suspect, Anthony Scott, who investigators say was recruiting juveniles to conduct house burglaries in south Jackson.

"We all know that some of these burglaries are being committed by juveniles," Vance said. "If he's the one behind some of them, we should shine some light on this."

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