JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Following the recent crime in Jackson, City Councilman Aaron Banks is calling for both branches of local government to find ways to combat issues.

Banks issued the following statement:

“When it comes to crime in the Capital City, it is paramount that the Mayor and City Council continue to stand together to send a strong/tough message. That message should seek to bring us together and not further divide us. That message, should be guided by our collective principals of wanting a city that we are not only proud to call home, but one where the criminal element is put on notice that we will not sit back and do nothing. In Jackson we are OPEN for business and starting right now we want to send the message that we are CLOSED to criminal activity.

As both branches of government in Jackson, seek ways to work together, to combat these senseless killings and help rid our streets of illegal weapons – specifically getting these weapons out of the hands of our youth – we are going to explore every avenue available. We understand that we cannot arrest our way out of what is happening in our beloved city; but we certainly can enforce the laws that are on the books and we certainly can work with every entity and branch of our judicial system to ensure that folk that continue to use violence as a means to an end, will face all of the necessary consequences afforded to them.

We must address gun shows and ensure that tougher penalties are put in place for those vendors that do not follow proper background checks and other protocol measures. We must work to strengthen our police department. We must find creative ways to address staffing issues, pay shortages and other things that hinder our men and women in blue from doing their jobs effectively. We must increase visibility.

However, even if all these measures were in place right now, we must be honest with ourselves, the culture that exists and the rapid problems we are facing, we need the community to help us.  Jacksonians we can all play a role in addressing the senseless loss of life.  One easy way is when you see something, say something! Even if it is a family member, we must hold each other accountable. Let us work together to prevent another senseless act of violence in our city…if you see something, say something.”

Council President Aaron Banks, City of Jackson