Crime is the No. 1 issue in Jackson’s Ward 1 City Council race, all four candidates told The Clarion-Ledger’s editorial board during interviews on Monday.
“(Crime) is the cloud that hangs over the city and dominates conversation,” candidate John Ditto said.
All said that if elected it would be their primary focus, and many said they would call for a heightened police presence in the city. But each candidate had a different view on how to improve the Police Department.
Ditto, a real estate developer and son of former Mayor Kane Ditto, said the city should offer more competitive salaries to lure more and better trained officers. But more than that, the department needs better leadership.
“Chief (Shirlene) Anderson has not operated with total autonomy,” Ditto said. “I have talked to many police officers who do have concerns about (her leadership) … but some blame goes to the mayor’s office because in many ways she’s told how to run the department.”