JPD, U.S. Attorney's office and federal agencies join forces to - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

JPD, U.S. Attorney's office and federal agencies join forces to arrest violent offenders

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Police in the capital city are getting help with the escalating crime problem. A federal program is training officers and offering assistance with staffing limitations.

Jackson Police, The U.S. Attorney's Office, and federal agencies are working to cut crime and get repeat offenders off the streets.

24-year-old Ira McGruder and 20-year-old Demario Webster were sentenced in December to federal prison for a series of armed robbers of business owners.

Through the Violence Reduction Network or VRN, JPD Chief Lee Vance said U.S. Attorney Greg Davis prosecuted the men in federal court.

It is a process that will continue to help stop the revolving door of arrest and release in the Capital City.

"Sometimes they start off as property criminals and they graduate up to armed robbery to murder," said Vance. "You can track it. You look at their criminal histories. So what we're looking to do is trying to impact that".

VRN has been in place since September. Officials said funding and assistance for VRN will continue for the next two years. No figures were released on the amount of money JPD will receive.

Vance said Davis has been working with the police department for the past two years and is committed to helping make Jackson safer by targeting suspects like McGruder and Webster with lengthy criminal records.

"If he is a felon in possession of a weapon, then that is a federal charge," said the U.S. Attorney. "We can bring certain federal charges against them. Also, we've done a lot of carjacking cases, because it involves interstate commerce".

The Jackson Police Department is using the federal program to add more police officers and upgrade technology like body cameras. 

But Vance stressed that the key to decreasing the homicide count is conflict resolution and help from the public. 

"If we don't know about these things, then it's more difficult for us to intervene, and we find ourselves going out and picking up the pieces after this person has already shot somebody," added Vance.

JPD and the U.S. Attorneys Office are urging the public to attend a meeting on the VRN Thursday, February 23rd at 5:30 p.m. at Jackson City Hall.

Los Angeles Police Detective John Skaggs, who is working with JPD officers, will be a part of the session.

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