Hinds County Sheriff’s debate held at Jackson State University

Election

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Candidates who are running to be the next Hinds County sheriff took part in a debate Tuesday night at Jackson State University (JSU). Eight of the 13 candidates talked about why they should be elected the next sheriff for the county.

Student moderators asked each of the candidates a series of eight questions. The first question was about potential solutions for the high crime rate in Jackson.

“The biggest problem in our community right now is these dirty guns. Dirty guns are guns in possession by convicted felons,” said interim Hinds County Sheriff Marshand Crisler.

“People that are responsible for these crimes are in your community, and we need you all to feel comfortable enough to be able to report that information back to your nearest law enforcement agency as well,” said Tyree Jones.

“The FBI is big on collaboration working with different agencies in order to resolve issues. As your sheriff, I will work closely with all these agencies,” said Beverly Harris-Williams.

Candidates also promised more transparency between the sheriff’s office and the public.

“There’s 1,500 warrants that are unserved that the citizens of Jackson are in the dark about. If you serve the warrant, you take the gun off the street. If you serve the warrant, you take the criminal off the street,” said Constable Leon Seals.

Seals said he plans to reinstate the task forces that were disbanded by prior administration. Other candidates discussed plans to work with the community and other members of the Justice Department.

“These criminals that are committing these crimes aren’t first offenders. You have to work with the DA’s office,” said Richard Spooner.

“Guns by themselves won’t kill anybody. It’s the people behind them. We got to change hearts. We have to let our youth know we are not enemies,” said Les Tannehill.

The topic that raised tensions was the consent decree against the Raymond Detention Center.

“Tell the people what they need to know, that’s like saying I’m 400 strong with employees. You show me 400 employees, and I’ll show you Santa Claus. This is nothing more than a facade. That’s what this whole administration has been, lies after lies,” said Seals.

“You can listen to somebody that’s never been in the system or listen to somebody that’s in the system, and I’m going to be very clear about this. This ain’t a constable job. This is the sheriff’s job,” said Crisler.

“Being that I’m the only one up here who has dealt with the Department of Justice special litigation and patterns in relation to consent decrees, I’m experienced in doing that. I did it for a living,” said Harris-Williams.

The majority of the candidates did agree that a new jail is needed, as well as an increase in community policing.

The special election will be held on Tuesday, November 2.

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