In late 2003, a home invader who forced his way into a woman’s home in Madison County was shot dead. Last year, the rape of a jogger on the Ridgeland Multipurpose Recreational Trail shocked the community. School officials in Madison and Rankin counties talk openly of drug problems.
Crime is not just a big city reality. The metro area’s suburban neighborhoods are not immune.
In the Rankin County seat of Brandon, the jail has been at capacity for two years. Officials are studying a $3 million, 100-bed addition; plea bargains and alternate sentencing are being implemented, mirroring Jackson/Hinds. In Flowood, Pearl, Richland . . . once small hamlets, now swelling into double-digit populations, crime is a concern.
Rankin’s population increased to 115,327 in 2000, from 87,655 in 1990; Madison’s to 75,000 from 55,000.
City officials should be committed to beefing up enforcement and working closely with Jackson and Hinds County as a unit to fight crime. Acts of prevention now and making commitment to law enforcement criminal justice system resources will pay off later. Complacency is a danger.
Public safety is an issue in all metro area cities.