In an effort to combat increasing crime rates in Jackson, Governor Tate Reeves and Commissioner Sean Tindell have announced three new hirings to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety’s leadership team.
Beginning with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Major Chris Haynes will be moving from his position of coordinator of officer-involved shootings, the criminal information center, and the digital forensics unit to director of the MBI.
Prior to being promoted to coordinator in 2021, Haynes, who has 18 years of law enforcement experience, served in the MBI’s Special Operations Unit, on the Mississippi Joint Terrorism Task Force, as a Mississippi Highway Patrol State Trooper and SWAT member, as well as with the Brandon Police Department.
“It is an assignment that I do not take lightly,” Haynes said. “I look forward to having more discussions with law enforcement executives and community leaders to build and establish programs to advance their efforts concerning public safety and information sharing to deter criminal activity.”
As government officials continue to transition Mississippi Capitol Police from “what was really a security agency for state-run buildings to building it to more of a police force,” Reeves announced a new chief and new assistant chief for the office, which now has an expanded jurisdiction including the Mississippi State Capitol grounds, Jackson State, Belhaven, Fondren, as well as the downtown area .
The new chief of Capitol Police will be Bo Luckey. Luckey, who also spent time with the Brandon Police Department, most recently served as a criminal investigator with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. He also ran for mayor of Brandon in 2021.
“It’s a huge honor to be selected as the next chief of police at Capitol Police, and I’m excited for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Jackson as well as the citizens of the state of Mississippi who commute to Jackson and work within Jackson,” Luckey said, adding that he plans to assess the force’s manpower before meeting with other partners like the Jackson Police Department and Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.
Sgt. Joshua Shipp will be coming to Jackson from the Oxford Police Department to serve as the assistant chief of Capitol Police. Shipp was named OPD’s 2019 R.L. Bob Jones Officer of the Year. He’s also spent time with the U.S. Secret Service where he was assigned to then-Vice President Joe Biden’s home.
“It is my goal to come in and assess the situation and the resources that we have and formulate a plan that will provide a safe environment for our elected leaders and the visitors and those who live in the Capitol Complex Improvement District,” Shipps said. “I also would like to bring my family to the Capitol Complex Improvement District and live in this area and work with our community.”
Ultimately, Reeves believes these three hirings will result in not only a safer capital city but a safer Mississippi.
“Each of these individuals brings a tremendous wealth of experience to the job and I have no doubt with them on our team — regardless of how long it takes — we will be victorious in our efforts to reduce crime in Mississippi,” Reeves said.
The city of Jackson has seen over 50 homicides this calendar year alone. Over the past four years, the homicide rate has nearly tripled, going from 35.63 per 100,000 residents in 2017 to 99.5 per 100,000 residents in 2021. For Mississippi as a whole, the state has the third-highest murder rate in the nation at 12.7 per 100,000 residents.