‘No quick fix’: Farm commissioner recaps Jackson crime summit
In response to the growing number of homicide cases in the capital, Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson hosted a “Rebuilding the Walls of Safety” Crime Summit at the Mississippi Trade Mart on Wednesday.
During the event, which was attended by approximately 170 people, several key issues relating to arrests and misdemeanor charges were discussed by Gibson, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, and Jackson Police Chief James Davis. The three officials also spoke about ways the city plans to find a solution.
One of the major problems recognized was the lack of a holding cell for arrestees in Jackson, which resulted in the release on bail of a majority of felons. Gipson proposed that the soon-to-be-completed base command center at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds serve as a temporary place to house arrestees.
“I gifted it yesterday and it has been well received as a multi-agency crime-fighting task force staging area not just on the fairgrounds, but around the fairgrounds and throughout downtown. -capital city,” Gipson said during a Thursday morning appearance on The gallo show.
Gipson also added that the command center on the fairgrounds should be completed by late summer or early fall.
Another topic discussed at the summit was the city’s current agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union not to arrest people for misdemeanors. Gipson said it was time for that deal to end.
“It’s not just about one particular silver bullet,” Gipson explained. “It’s about intervening with these young people before they become criminals and that goes all the way to tracking arrest, detention, sentencing, all the way to jail and release.”
The three officials also agreed that one of the best ways to meaningfully intervene with young people who commit crimes in Jackson is to add more programs downtown that focus on mental health and social services.
The full recap of the Gipson summit can be viewed below.