Governor Tate Reeves minced no words about law enforcement needs in Jackson.
Governor Tate Reeves and Department of Public Safety Commissioner, Sean Tindell, discussed the DPS’ new initiative to increase its presence and visibility in Mississippi’s capital city. While adjudication of crimes will still happen at the local and county level, the state of Mississippi is looking to be a force multiplier on the enforcement side, particularly in Jackson.
During the press conference, Gov. Reeves also stated that he is hopeful the Federal COVID money can be put towards things such as local law enforcement efforts.
“Let me dare make a suggestion . . . Please . . . Water, Sewer, Law Enforcement,” said Reeves in admonishing the City of Jackson and Hinds County to spend COVID money wisely. “Everyone is quick to come to the state and beg for money. Well now they have almost $100 million. I think all of us will be a lot more likely to look for avenues for the state to continue to help the city if they spent these moneys in a like manner.”
Governor Reeves went on to say that in the city of Jackson, there is a never ending circle of violent crime. But this does not reflect who we are as a city or state. Through House Bill 974 and Senate Bill 2788, both Commissioner Tindell and Governor Reeves believe that the city is taking steps towards efficiency protect there residents of Jackson, Mississippi.
“To have a safe Jackson, we have to have a safe downtown,” Reeves says. He said starting tomorrow, state agencies will begin the saturation in the capital city. “This won’t solve all the crime, but it’s a step in the right direction.”
House Bill 974 authorized the Mississippi Department of Public Safety to acquire the State Capitol Police Department. Senate Bill 2788 authorized the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol to set up radar on highways in municipalities with a population above 15,000.
“In a large part, it goes back to the idea that some have that we should defund the police,” Governor Reeves said. “In Mississippi, we don’t want to defund the police, we want to refund the police.”
Gov. Tate Reeves also encouraged the city of Jackson to think wisely before spending Federal COVID money. He said that he is hopeful that the city as well as county will use significant portion of the funding to spend it on water system, sewer system, or local law enforcement efforts.
Reeves said that this funding would also go a long way towards telling state and federal leadership of the state that they were serious about fixing the water and sewer system and other infrastructure challenges here as well as significantly increasing the numbers at the Jackson Police Department.