In response to the rising number of homicide cases across the capital city, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson held a “Rebuilding the Walls of Safety” crime summit on Wednesday at the Mississippi Trade Mart.
During the event, in which there were around 170 people in attendance, 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 talked about ways the city plans to find a resolution.
One of the main problems acknowledged was the lack of a holding cell for those arrested in Jackson, leading to a majority of criminals being released on bond. Gipson proposed that the soon-to-be-completed base command center on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds serve as a temporary location to place arrested individuals.
“I offered it yesterday and it was well-received as a multi-agency task force staging area to fight crime not only on the fairgrounds but around the fairgrounds and throughout the capital downtown area,” Gipson said during a Thursday morning appearance on The Gallo Show.
Gipson also added that the command center on the fairgrounds is set to be completed by either the end of summer or the beginning of fall.
An additional topic discussed at the summit surrounded the current agreement between the city and the American Civil Liberties Union to not arrest individuals for misdemeanor charges. Gipson said it’s time for that deal to come to an end.
“It’s not just a matter of one particular silver bullet,” Gipson explained. “It’s about intervening with these young people before they become criminals and it’s all the way to following through with the arrests, detention, conviction, all the way to prison, and release.”
All three officials also agreed that one of the best ways to truly intervene with the youth committing crime in Jackson is to add more inner-city programs focused on mental health and social services.
Gipson’s entire recap of the summit can be watched below.