‘We need your help’: JPD chief pleads for funds at Rebuilding Walls of Safety Crime Summit

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 1:08 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Several state and local agencies met Wednesday to address crime problems in Jackson.

Mississippi’s Agriculture Commissioner hosted the session at the Mississippi Trade Mart not far from the Mudbug Festival shooting.

Escalating crime in the Capital City was the focus of the summit hosted by Commissioner Andy Gipson.

Rebecca Cavett’s daughter, 21-year-old Rikyla Brown, was homicide number 53 last year. She came to the session to hear solutions to the crime problem.

“All I want is some kind of safety because I now have custody of my grandson and I want to be able to take him to the park without incident,” said Cavett. “I want to be able to live in the comfort of my own home without incident.”

Jackson’s police chief told the crowd that his department is short 100 officers and is pleading for help.

“We need help. Can you hear my cry around the State of Mississippi?” asked Chief James Davis. “We need your help. Step up and do the right thing and fund the Jackson police so that we can make the Capital City the best city in the country.”

A youth expert on the panel said there are 4,700 16-to-24-year-olds in Hinds County not connected to education or employment.

“The crime that we’re seeing pretty much, if you look at those numbers, I’m sure that the 16-or-18-year-olds, 24-year-old individuals will fall into that group,” said Youth Engagement Specialist Ingrid Cloy.

“Invest in our youth,” said Rep. Ronnie Crudup Jr (D) Hinds County. “You can try to build all of the jails you want. That’s not going to solve the problem until we start making these same investments back into our kids, our city, then will start to see change made.”

More than 100 were at the summit. Those in attendance said they hope the summit results in action and not just conversation.

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