Jackson city leaders discuss ways to reduce crime and improve quality of life in the Capital City

Published: May. 31, 2022 at 10:33 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - On Tuesday, members of Jackson’s Public Safety/Park and Environment Ad Hoc committee met to discuss ways to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in the capital city.

One of the biggest things discussed was a proposed ordinance that would hold parents accountable if their child is caught with a gun or commits a crime with a gun.

It was introduced by Ward 6 Councilman Aaron Banks.

Under the proposal, parents or guardians would face jail time and be fined if this ordinance is violated.

The first time their child commits a crime, the parent or guardian will have to spend 24 hours in county jail and pay a $500 fine.

If it happens a second time, they will have to spend 48 hours in county jail and pay a $1,500 fine.

The third time, the parent or guardian would have to spend 72 hours in county jail and pay a $2,500 fine.

However, city leaders raised questions and concerns about this proposal and stated they have a few more amendments to make to the ordinance.

As a result, that item is now being tabled until the next committee meeting.

“We are going to look at some of the consequences. We’re going to look at making sure all of the kinks are worked out,” said Councilman Banks. “There’s so much input coming from other leaders, supervisors, judges, county attorney, district attorney’s office, the U.S. Attorney, so we want to take the time and take our time and do this ordinance justice and make sure we input all of that, along with the suggestions from other stakeholders.”

This is the second time Councilman Banks has proposed this legislation.

Just like the first time in 2019, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is pushing back against it.

The ACLU said the proposed ordinance unfairly violates due process by holding a person liable for someone else’s actions.

“Parental accountability is important. But only properly drafted child access prevention laws have shown to prevent guns from falling into young hands,” the ACLU said in a statement. “Furthermore, Mississippi already has a child access prevention law, which holds parents accountable for knowingly permitting a child under the age of 18 to own or carry a concealed weapon. Additionally, the proposed ordinance does not align with state law, which specifies that the fine should not be more than $1,000.

Banks says he plans to have the members of the ACLU send proposed amendments to make towards his proposal.

The councilman said this convo will continue at the next meeting. City leaders will also address more funding for more investments in intervention programs, city surveillance cameras, and more aggressive policing.

The next committee meeting will take place next week.

A date hasn’t been set.

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