Community leaders in Jackson are calling on residents to take part in lowering the high crime rate.

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Community Leaders in Jackson Try to Curb High Crime Rate

By Daniel Cherry | Published 30 Aug 2011 11:37pm | comments

Residents and community leaders are teaming up to find solutions to Jackson's high crime rate. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how a community forum aimed at lowering crime is also meant to clean up part of Mississippi's image.

Community activists, law enforcement, and religious leaders sat down to hear concerns from Jackson residents Tuesday evening. Wayne McDaniels is the President of the Jackson NAACP. He says they called the meeting because it's time for the community to stand up.

"It's none of our business until it affects us, and then we react. That's the wrong time to address it. We need to catch it before people have to react."

The forum was spurred by the murder of James Anderson. A group of white teens is accused of running over the 49 year old Jackson man. The Hinds County DA believes it to be a hate crime. Long time community activist Hollis Watkins says if businesses are looking to locate in Mississippi, they are likely to have high profile crimes like this in the front of their mind.

"Businesses in Jackson is the process and means by which the community in Hinds County and the surrounding counties grow. So we need growth as much as we can possibly get it, and anything that is a deterrent to promoting growth...then we don't need that."

Residents like Cheryl Livingston came out to have their voices heard, and address issues in the community.

"Wherever prosperity is...crime can't be there. You have to take the crime out if you want a prosperous city."

Livingston says she loves the Capitol City and Mississippi. She thinks others would too if residents would take part in cleaning up the city's image.

"We have something going for ourselves. We have to tap into it. We have to clean up the mess we've made, and it's possible to do it, but it starts with the individual."

But not everyone is convinced. The latest census shows Jackson lost nearly six percent of it's population in the past decade.

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