Jackson Police Department suffers shortage as crime spikes - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson Police Department suffers shortage as crime spikes

The Jackson Police Department reports that there are currently approximately 350 officers. That's about 150 short of the goal of 500. Source: WLBT The Jackson Police Department reports that there are currently approximately 350 officers. That's about 150 short of the goal of 500. Source: WLBT
The Jackson Police Department reports that there are currently approximately 350 officers. That's about 150 short of the goal of 500. Source: WLBT The Jackson Police Department reports that there are currently approximately 350 officers. That's about 150 short of the goal of 500. Source: WLBT
The Jackson Police Department reports that there are currently approximately 350 officers. That's about 150 short of the goal of 500. Source: WLBT The Jackson Police Department reports that there are currently approximately 350 officers. That's about 150 short of the goal of 500. Source: WLBT
The Jackson Police Department reports that there are currently approximately 350 officers. That's about 150 short of the goal of 500. Source: WLBT The Jackson Police Department reports that there are currently approximately 350 officers. That's about 150 short of the goal of 500. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

According to the FBI, Jackson's first four months of 2018 have been the deadliest on record.

READ MORE: 2018 is Jackson's deadliest year on record, per FBI data

Meanwhile, Jackson police officer numbers are down, but residents aren't blaming police, instead law breakers.

A new JPD recruiting class begins in late June at the training academy. 

Nearly 80 people have applied. 

Law officers hope this will help with the shortage.

"We need more cops in the city," said Jackson resident Fred Barnes. "Law and order must be held."

He is disappointed that the Capital City's police force isn't at it's highest numbers, but he like many other residents say citizens need to take responsibility for the current crime rate.

"We do need manpower," said Barnes. "There's an old saying, you let evil go unchecked, if good men do nothing, evil will go unchecked," said Barnes.

"The increase in crime just may be because of a shortage, but it's really in the individual," said Edna Dent of Jackson. "It's in the people. It's in the neighborhoods. It's in the churches. We all need to do what we need to do."

Kyndrial Magee lives in Raymond, but visits Jackson often.

"They really need to try to consider finding more officers so it can down the shootings that's been happening recently," said Magee. "I feel that's very sad to see that."

Thirty four people have died violently in Jackson so far in 2018.

INTERACTIVE MAP: JACKSON HOMICIDES 

The Jackson Police Department reports that there are currently approximately 350 officers.

That's about 150 short of the goal of 500.

Despite the officer shortage, Joan Gorden feels safe in her Jackson neighborhood because she says they have a successful neighborhood watch program and she sees JPD patrolling regularly.

"They shouldn't announce that there's a shortage because it makes them think that they can get away with more crime because we have such a shortage of officers," said Gorden.

"We have a shortage of police officers. I don't feel like it's their fault that the crime element is getting to the rate that it is," said Jackson resident Margaret Stubbs. "The criminal element is doing their thing. The police officers are fighting as hard as they can to stay up."

Shirley Casanova believes there is definitely a shortage and hopes more officers come on board soon to patrol neighborhoods and streets and around businesses.

"I think they need to walk, " said Casanova. "I think they need to drive down through neighborhoods an see what's going on because it's a lot of stuff going on in neighborhoods that I don't think they even address."

JPD hopes to have 50 officers from this June recruit class and a second recruiting class later this year.

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