Crime Crisis: One-on-one with Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal

12 News Investigates: Crime Crisis

RIDGELAND, Miss. (WJTV) – 12 News is focused on solutions to the crime crisis in Jackson. Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal, who is also the president of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police, talked to 12 News’ Jade Bulecza about the issue.

Ridgeland is located next to Jackson, and both are densely populated areas. Like the capital city, Neal said crime is typically higher.

“It’s certainly concerning. I’m sure to Chief Davis and the mayor of Jackson but also to the outlying areas to get the spillover from Jackson,” said Neal.

The chief said the Ridgeland Police Department partners with the Jackson Police Department to solve crimes. In the last five years, Chief Neal said he’s seen more guns on the streets. He said it’s not uncommon for 13 or 14 year olds to have the weapons.

“When I was 13 or 14, I was worried about whether I was going to play third base or second base. Now these kids are worried about who their next crime victim is going to be,” said Neal.

In Madison County, Neal said they have a strong court system.

“We hope at that young age, the youth court was step in and take its course, and the parent would step in and say no you got to do better in life. You got to change your ways, because I don’t want you to turn 18 and commit a crime that’s going to send you away for 4, 5, 10, 15 years.”

When raising children, Neal said to be resilient, be strong and teach them right from wrong.

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