Jackson Police Increasing Officers on the StreetsBy Daniel Cherry | Published 22 Dec 2011 09:36pm |
A recent report of City Crime Rankings names Jackson as the 5th most dangerous city in America with a population less than 500 thousand. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how officials hope dozens of new officers on the police force will help curb crime in the Capitol City.
At the Jackson Police Training Academy yesterday 26 men and 7 women marched in front of hundreds of friends and family to become the newest officers on the Jackson Police force. Odiri Dafe lives in Jackson. He says he's seen his share of crime around his house, and while he's not scared of the area, he thinks more officers on the streets will make a difference.
"I don't think I live in a state of perpetual fear. Just like in most cities or any city, you have to keep your eyes peeled. We keep the doors locked. We keep the lights on."
The Jackson Police Department is about 25 officers shy of it's goal of 500. Chief of Police Rebecca Coleman says an increased police presence will alleviate crime and these new officers are a good start.
"I feel very confident with our recruiting and hiring process that we will meet the 500 mark. A mark that we've been striving for, for many years. It will be a tremendous breakthrough by having more police on the street, having more visibility of officers on the street."
The city got a grant from the Department of Justice to hire more officers. As the Capitol City, Jackson is home to many vital government and economic operations. Mayor Harvey Johnson says he wants everyone to feel safe so business run as intended.
"Whether you're in Jackson or any other city in Mississippi, safety is a concern. Certainly we work hard every day to make sure people are safe here in the City of Jackson."
The police will be taking on more officers over the next year in hopes of meeting an eventual mark of 525.
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