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OSA: Further funding for law enforcement saves both money and lives

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Mississippi could not only save lives but a whole lot of money by further funding law enforcement, according to a new report from the Office of the State Auditor.

The report shows that each homicide in Mississippi costs taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.2 million. Those costs include crime scene response and cleanup, medical treatment and compensation for the victim, case investigation and prosecution by law enforcement, incarceration for the defendant, and lost tax revenue.

“Aside from the monetary cost, we also know that every life has value in God’s eyes, and every death due to homicide is a tragedy,” State Auditor Shad White said. “Now is the time to support the police in our state and put violent criminals in jail and keep them there. If we do not get tough on crime and stop the destructive catch and release problem we have, this report shows how costly it will be to Mississippians.”

The report also shows that for every 100 additional police officers on the street, 6 to 10 homicides are prevented.

“For the sake of the victims, we’ve got to stop bad-mouthing police, recruit more, and then pay them. That’s how you break a city’s crime wave,” White later wrote on Twitter
As of 2020, the annual salary for a Mississippi police officer was the lowest in the nation at $36,290.

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