As many cities in Mississippi grapple with an alarming rise in crime — together with homicides — one Mississippi metropolis noticed a greater than 25 % drop in homicides.
The variety of homicides in Vicksburg fell by 27 % between 2020 and 2021, in response to info from the Vicksburg Police Division.
In keeping with police, Vicksburg had three homicides in 2021 — two in June and one in November. All three had been solved. By comparability, police investigated 11 homicides in 2020. Warren County had zero homicides in 2021, down from three in 2020.
“My coronary heart goes out to the household of any murder sufferer. Our statistics point out that we had been very blessed in 2021,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Tempo mentioned.
“I imagine it speaks volumes for modifications within the police division and the group consciousness now we have occurring proper now,” Mayor George Flaggs mentioned of the drop within the metropolis’s 2021 murder fee. “I feel we’re doing a a lot better job patrolling, I feel we’re doing a a lot better job educating the general public on the significance of non-violence in our group.
“I feel we’ve all began paying extra consideration to violence in our group and reporting it,” Flaggs mentioned.
Police Chief Penny Jones mentioned there have been in all probability quite a lot of totally different causes for the upper murder fee in 2020, including a few of it was “in all probability as a consequence of financial and social modifications introduced out by the pandemic; our youth are carrying weapons and committing grownup crimes.”
The police group, she mentioned, is altering, mentioning that like companies, police departments are short-handed and making an attempt to rent officers.
“You don’t have as many police elsewhere,” she mentioned.
Jones additionally mentioned she believes COVID-19 accounted for most of the prior homicides in 2020 and late 2019.
“Individuals had been afraid; they had been locked inside their dwelling, individuals had been working from dwelling and there was a scarcity of meals and cleansing provides,” she mentioned. “The speed of aggravated assault arose between that point to in between 10 and 15 % above regular between 2019 and 2020; aggravated assaults had been in all probability among the most typical crimes we had.”
In 2022, Jones mentioned, persons are making an attempt to get again to some type of a standard life.
“Persons are in a position to go locations and never need to put on their masks in sure locations and that’s as a result of vaccines popping out. Persons are getting their boosters,” she mentioned. “I feel crime could also be lowered contemplating the comfort of having the ability to do issues now versus up to now. Persons are actually accessible now to like on one another. As an alternative of a digital hug on a display, now you possibly can personally stroll as much as them and provides them a hug.”
So far as regulation enforcement is anxious, Jones mentioned, “On this specific time, we’re being just a little bit extra aggressive in investigating and fixing crimes. We have now higher communication expertise, a greater working relationship with the District Legal professional and with the judges.”
Additionally, she mentioned, the police division is working with the sheriff’s division and the FBI on gun circumstances, as a result of so many youths are concerned in violent crimes with weapons.
“We’re working as a group, and that performs such a giant position when these businesses are in a position to come collectively for the frequent good of the citizen,” Jones mentioned.
Some homicides, nonetheless, can’t be prevented, Jones mentioned.
“There’s nothing you actually can do about it; it’s one thing that’s virtually going to occur,” she mentioned. “It’s no totally different than a home violence case; generally we’re there and somebody is killed. All homicides damage however in some circumstances, somebody is killed and you’ll’t forestall it.”
The town’s three homicides included:
• Thomas Hardman, 14, is charged as an grownup with manslaughter-culpable negligence within the June 8 taking pictures dying of his 11-year-old cousin, Rashawn Wilbert.
Vicksburg law enforcement officials responding to a 7:56 p.m. name a few taking pictures at a house on Elizabeth Circle arrived to search out the 11-year-old boy affected by a gunshot wound to his chest. He was later pronounced useless on the scene.
• Malik Vallarie, 21, was discovered shot useless June 14 within the Kings group by law enforcement officials responding to a 2:33 p.m. a name of pictures fired close to the Vicksburg Animal Shelter, 100 Previous Mill Highway. A firearm police believed was used within the taking pictures was recovered from the scene.
Two individuals, Laqesha Davis, 29, and Demarion Reed, 15, each of Vicksburg, had been charged with homicide within the taking pictures. Davis can also be charged with instructing a juvenile to commit a felony.
• Oceanna Lee Hubbard, 28, was shot and killed on Nov. 20. Police responding to a 7 a.m. name of pictures fired on the Riverwalk On line casino, 1046 Warrenton Highway, discovered Hubbard mendacity within the parking storage affected by a number of gunshot wounds.
Her husband, Cedrick L. Hubbard Jr., 26, is charged within the case.