The Jackson Police Department gave WJTV 12 unprecedented access to JPD joining them on the ground alongside Commanders and Deputy Chiefs as they combat crime in the capitol city.
Amid an officer shortage Jackson Police Chief James Davis is tasked with finding the right solutions to the city’s crime.
He says it’s something the department can’t do alone.
“I’m always telling people , if you see something say please say something,” Davis said.
Building trust between those wearing the badges and the citizens is something police chiefs have long tried to do – Davis says his operation safe streets initiative is doing just that.
Commander Abraham Thompson of precinct 1 said, “It’s very important to let the community know that hey we’re not out here to just write tickets.”
Deputy Chief Tiny Harris of JPD’s patrol division agrees.
“This does not necessarily means that someone is going to jail or receiving citation this gives us an opportunity to engage the community,” he said.
The checkpoints are often in high crime areas like the Queens subdivision.
“Those roadblocks are just to let the citizens of Jackson know that they are safe , we’re doing measures we’re being proactive,” Davis said.
Neighbors we spoke with say they’ve noticed a difference and they are impressed.
“I have been very pleased with the police department,” one neighbor said.
Commander Randy Avery is in charge of precinct three – covering the Northwest part of the city – he tells WJTV 12 they have seen some breakthroughs in their crime prevention.
“One thing for sure is we can not do it by ourselves and we’ve always been soliciting help of the community,” Avery said. “First of all everyone wants to be safe and second of all it’s their civic duty to help us out and third of all it’s our duty to make sure that they’re safe so working together really works.”
However, gun violence is still prevalent in Jackson – in 2018 , the city logged more than 80 homicides investigation.
“People take it upon themselves to pull out guns and resolve their issues with shooting someone they in having a conflict with and it’s very difficult to police that,” said Davis.
With only 8 months into the full time chief position Davis is sticking to community policing as his number 1 solution to crime.
“I’m encouraged about what I hear I cover every corner of this city I attended the neighborhood association meeting and people see the police, but it’s very unfortunate when people take it upon themselves to pull out guns and resolve their issues with shooting,” said Davis.
Jackson Police also performs blue light patrols in neighborhoods and business parking lots as an additional way to deter would be criminals.