Business owners leaving downtown Jackson as police try to control crime

Business owners leaving downtown Jackson as crime persists
Business owners leaving downtown Jackson as crime persists(WLBT)
Published: May. 15, 2022 at 9:22 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Jackson police are cracking down on crime after a violent week, including in the downtown district.

Police officials held a press conference on Sunday to lay out their plan of action. This after a wave of gun violence in parts of Jackson.

Business owners say they are fed up, even to the point of packing up and leaving for good. City leaders are stepping up to keep more crime from happening.

“I’m very disappointed,” stated Hallie Harris, a business owner leaving Jackson. “I wish I could stay, but it’s just not beneficial and I can’t make a living here.”

Harris and her team were loading boxes and furniture onto the back of a truck. She runs a business called Shopkeep that sells American-made arts and crafts on Capitol Street in downtown Jackson.

She says she is moving her business out of the city because the crime has become too much to bare.

“There was already a stigma of downtown Jackson and that was a year or two ago,” she said. “Crime is getting worse. That doesn’t help the stigma of downtown Jackson and I don’t think anyone cares to improve it.”

Several people were killed in the city last week. There was also shootout in downtown Jackson last Sunday near Capitol Street and the King Edward Hotel.

Other residents in the area also take issue with the senseless crime.

“Honestly, it’s outrageous,” said one resident. “A lot of people, you just never know what’s on their mind and they really want to take their anger out on something or somebody and anything can make them snap. So heavy patrol would be a great thing down here.”

During a press conference Sunday, Jackson Police Deputy Chief of Patrol Tiny Harris says they have started a new initiative to put more boots on the ground to prevent senseless acts of violence from happening.

“We have about 13 officers out and these particular officers are assigned to our special operations division,” Tiny explained. “And that’s our traffic unit DAR, our Direct Action and Response team, as well as our DUI unit.”

Deputy Chief Harris says they are patrolling all of Jackson, but focusing in heavily on areas like downtown Jackson, Precinct 1, Fondren, Belhaven, Northside Drive, and Ridgewood Court.

“We want people to enjoy the night life in downtown,” he said. “We want Jackson to be thriving, and when you come out and see those blue lights, whether it’s a single female or male, they should feel safe.”

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