JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jackson City Council members are taking a stance on the fight against crime and it may be at the expense of not prioritizing city contracts focused on fun activities.
City council members believe investing in public safety should be the number one focus to help tackle crime instead of allocating money for upcoming events like Juneteenth and July 4th fireworks celebrations.
In a council meeting on Monday Councilman Kenneth Stokes voiced his stance on where city funds should go.
“It sounds good, we should shoot fireworks and balance money, but people are telling us we have to do something about crime. Yes, I support fireworks. I support it every time, but if we don’t have enough money to do both of these things, we’ve got to make public safety, number one,” said Councilman Stokes.
Crime continues to be a concern due to the increasing homicides nearing the half-year mark.
Councilman Ashby Foote said he supports Stokes’ push to get a new housing facility for criminals who get arrested.
“I’m saying yes to public safety and that needs to be our number one priority and we need to find the $800,000 that is necessary to upgrade a facility and make it worthy for public holding facility for the arrests of violent activity.”
Meanwhile Ison Harris Jr., Director of Parks and Recreation, believes activities like Juneteenth and July 4th celebrations are positive attractions Jackson families need to see.
“This is one of the positive things that we have in our community, so in order to outweigh the bad we have a lot of positive in it so this is something that we definitely need to continue,” said Harris.
The contracts regarding fireworks celebrations have been placed in committees for further discussion.
The city council is currently looking for funds to support the idea of a holding facility that will cost $800,000 to refurbish. It’s potential location will be connected to the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office.