Mayor Yarber sickened by senseless acts of violence - - Jackson, MS

Mayor Yarber sickened by senseless acts of violence

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

At least eight homicides have taken place in the Capital City since Mayor Tony Yarber took office April 24.   Yarber calls those acts of violence senseless, the work of a few people tearing up the image of the city.  

"I'm upset about it," said Yarber. "I'm mad about it, because my children sleep in the house with us. At any point that could have been our house."  

Yarber is referring to Thursday morning's homicide involving a three-year-old child.  

"You can shoot into a house, not caring what you hit, and that is a blatant disregard for life that only God gives," Yarber said. "I'm sickened by it. I'm disgusted by it and I'm not tolerating it in this city."  

Yarber said something different needs to be done in the Capital City when it comes to crime.  

"What we know is that these acts are not random," said Yarber. "We know that these people know each other. We know at the heart of a lot of issues happening in our city have to do with narcotics."  

Because of that, he said his office started having roundtable discussions with the Hinds County sheriff, municipal judges, police and the district attorney on ways to address it.  

The Jackson Police Department is making more traffic stops, which means more arrests, Yarber added.  

"We've got to get angry about this, and we've got to get angry about the people who are committing these crimes, unnecessarily taking this baby's life away, a 19 year old unnecessarily killed over a pickup basketball game," said JPD Assistant Chief Lee Vance. "It's craziness."  

There's even talk of combining JPD's narcotics division with Hinds County. Yarber says the city has another resource that needs to be tapped as well.  

"We need everybody's help," said the Mayor. "We need you telling, breaking the code of silence, and we need you engaging in an organized way to reclaim our neighborhoods."

The mayor's looking for ten people from each neighborhood to organize. Yarber said residents can get on board by calling City Hall – specifically, the Mayor's office -- and his staff will help these residents by giving them the tools they need to implement neighborhood watch programs.

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