JACKSON Jackson Police Department leaders praised each other Thursday afternoon, June 15, for decreasing major crime percentages by 14.6-percent from 2016 to 2017, despite recent acts of violence in Mississippi.
In the past few months, citizens have experienced the murder of 6-year-old Kingston Frazier, a suicide with a man hanging from a tree, and the decapitation and burning of Jeremy Jerome Jackson.
Still, the June 5 to June 11 COMSTAT report shows positive crime trends. The total number of major crimes reported so far this year are 2,542, compared to last year's of 2,976 major crimes for the same period. Precinct 2, which covers the west Jackson area, leads with 798 crimes reported so far this year and 807 last year. Commander Jarratt Taylor manages this area.
Precincts 1 and 4 have lowered crime by 24.5 percent and 26 percent. Commander Thaddeus Jones covers Precinct 1, or south Jackson. Commander Keith Freeman covers Precinct 4, or northeast Jackson.
JPD Assistant Chief Allen White stressed awareness and safety to his officers while patrolling the streets of Jackson.
"Please, our number-one priority is our officers' safety. That's first and foremost, and then we try to keep the crime down. We got to keep our people safe," White said.
JPD Chief Lee Vance followed. "These days and times are bringing about a lot of threats (and) a lot of dangers from places that I never experienced when I was working the streets," Vance said.
He said recent incidents such as the shooting in Alexandria, Va., involving active shooters who posed threats to mass groups of citizens and officers remind officers to stay alert despite the number of arrests.
"Too many of these things are being played out in the middle of American streets, inside American buildings, and at American parks. So, again, the average patrol officer has to be thinking about all these things," he said.
This story was edited. It originally referred to the suicide as a "lynching suicide".
Email city reporting intern William Kelly III at [email protected].