JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – There has been an increase in crime in the City of Jackson during 2020. With more than 100 homicides reported this year, officials said the crimes have not had a negative impact on tourism.
Visit Jackson said the coronavirus pandemic is keeping people away from the city.
“As long as we’ve been open, I’ve been here seven years, and there have been one or two issues with the computer being taken out of a car, but we are starting to see people come back,” said Kim Lewis with Visit Jackson.
The organization said they partner with several law enforcement agencies to make tourism safe, including Jackson police, Capitol police and the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office.
Although many tourist attractions are not in high crime areas, business owners in downtown Jackson said one crime in any part of town draws a negative light on the entire city, which could be harmful in 2021.
“I just hope that citizens of Jackson make good decision for the best interest of themselves, but also our community. But our community is going to suffer. We should be celebrating the Deion Sanders coming to JSU, instead of having 104 homicides,” said Andy Nesenson with Iron Horse Grill.
According to city leaders, most of the homicides have been between people who knew each other.
“There’s no amount of police you can put on the street to deal with that, and so you recognize these social determinants that are leading to that, and that’s what we wrap around,” stated Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba.
The mayor said one of the first things that’s needed to address crime in Jackson is state support with mental health services. He also emphasized the need for all community members to step up and be part of the solution.