Jackson Police Department Chief Lee Vance and Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason launched Operation Side by Side, an operation to target crime in the city as the summer months heat up.
Photo by Imani Khayyam.
JACKSON On Thursday, April 15, Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance and Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason launched Operation Side by Side, a joint operation created to marry up resources and tackle violent crimes in the city. Operation Side-by-Side brings officers from JPD's Direct Action Response Team, or DUI team and other departments together with enforcement from the Sheriff's Department, including his new Street Crimes Unit which target different areas of the city with officers who are not responding to 911 calls for service.
Starting out, the main focus is on local checkpoints, DUI enforcement and felony warrants. At the April 15 Precinct 2 roll call of the 2nd Precinct, Vance said he also wants to use Operation Side-by-Side to target quality-of-life issues such as complaints about potential drug houses, citizens shooting in the air for fun or prostitutes soliciting on the street. The operation is slated to continue into the summer, and hopefully will be open for other forces such as the VICE team to partner up, he said.
"What we want, somewhere along the line, is for our citizens to feel the quiet," Vance said at an April 28 press conference. "Once we get to the point to where we feel the quiet, we won't have to be discussing crime stats. We won't have to be convincing people that the situation is getting better. They will be able to feel the quiet, and they will already know. That's what we hope to accomplish."
On Friday, April 29, 2016, JPD Officers responded to Noble Street near Faulk Boulevard after a shooting. Kiaris Porter had been shot multiple times and was pronounced dead on the scene. On May 4, Malcom McLaughlin was arrested and charged with capitol murder, possession of marijuana and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. JPD also arrested Zimarious Harden, and charged him with capitol murder. The police issued a warrant for Shaneka Brown in connection to the murder. JPD detectives said robbery was the alleged motive that led to Porter's death. This investigation is still ongoing, and more charges and/or arrests are possible.
Year to date, major crimes in the City of Jackson are down 10.7 percent over 2015. Property crimes are down 13.9 percent over 2015, although the City experienced a spike in grand larceny of 9.3 percent. Violent crimes against persons rose 1.9 percent, with a rise in aggravated assaults by 12.1 percent and homicide rising 25 percent. At Thursday's COMSTAT meeting, commanders reported that the City has seen 25 murders so far this year, opposed to 19 for the same period last year. Violent crime is up, and robberies are down, police said at the meeting.
Crime however, is lower this year in all precincts expect Precinct 2, which has a 6.9 percent increase over 2015, with property crimes lending to the growth of 10.6 percent.
Chief Vance said at Thursday's COMSTAT that the Side-by-Side teams with target south Jackson tonight.
Deputy news editor Maya Miller writes about crime, music, art and her ever growing obsession with Beyonce. Send her news tips at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @MayaLMiller.