A recent report of city crime rankings has Jackson as the 5th most dangerous city in America with a population less than 500 thousand. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how city officials hope adding officers to the police force will alleviate that problem.

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Jackson Adding Police Officers in Hopes of Lowering Crime

By Daniel Cherry | Published 06 Apr 2012 05:21pm | comments

A recent report of city crime rankings has Jackson as the 5th most dangerous city in America with a population less than 500 thousand. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how city officials hope adding officers to the police force will alleviate that problem.

Twenty four new Jackson police officers recently marched in front of hundreds of friends and family to receive their badges.

Mississippi's capital city is viewed by many to be the most dangerous city in the state. New officer Kevin Miles says he understands the dangers of the job, but he feels he's up to the task.

"Any job could be a dangerous job. Any person just working a regular 8-5 or 9-5 could very well, just leaving home have an accident and end up dead. It's a chosen profession I've decided to get into. I prayed about it. I've asked my wife for support and she's done that with my wife, my family, and my kids."

The Jackson Police force is still short of it's eventual goal of 500 officers. Jeremy Nelson is a new graduate and he hopes to put a dent in the high crime rate in the city he grew up in.

"Jackson is my home and it's always been a place I wanted to stay at. Why not work at a department where you can help the community out? Community policing we'll be going door to door helping out because without the community you can only solve so many crimes. We need the community for everything out there."

Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman says the new officers are going to increase police visibility in high-crime areas.

"With these 24 additional officers that were added today it brings our staffing to 184. It means more visibility in the precincts, and it's been proven that any time you have more visibility of officers, the less likely crime is to occur. "

The Jackson Police Department received a $3,000,000 grant from the U.S. Justice Department last year to hire more officers. The hope is to make Mississippi's largest city a safer place to live and visit.

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