JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson believes violent crime in Jackson is getting out of control. He wants to turn the old National Guard Armory on the State Fairgrounds into a command center to help fight it.
After the deadly Mudbug Festival shooting, the commissioner said the city is at war with criminals. He hopes the armory will become a 24-hour staging ground so multiple law enforcement agencies can patrol the area.
Gipson said he’s talked to both Jackson police and the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office about the command center and the response has been positive.
“There have been no consequences for criminal action. We’ve had repeat offenders who came to the fairgrounds Saturday night, a week ago. You know, shot up at each other. We’ve had repeat offenders who have killed someone young just the other day here in Jackson. They get in the system. They’re arrested, and then they’re right back on the street. That has got to stop. What we want to do is offer this building,” said Gipson.
He believes the renovation will cost around $6 million. The agencies are applying for grants, so the cost won’t burden tax payers.
Gipson is also looking to hold a “Rebuilding the Walls Crime Summit” at the Trade Mart from June 6 to 10.