Meeting set for Thursday on community policing

Published 4:00 pm Sunday, June 3, 2018

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. has set a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss community policing and the manpower situation in the Vicksburg Police Department.

He said the meeting will be conducted by the community policing/manpower committee of the city’s Crime Task Force in the board room of the City Hall Annex, 1415 Walnut St. The subcommittee is one of four under the task force. The other subcommittees include social media, city ordinance, and camera/surveillance/statistics.

Flaggs said the social media subcommittee met Thursday, adding, “I enjoyed it. Somebody brought a link to what they’re doing in Louisville (Kentucky) with a drone that can detect where a gunshot came from and go right to it.”

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He said other items discussed at the Thursday meeting included using social media to report or stop crime, and a discussion about 911.

Flaggs said the meeting Tuesday will look primarily at community policing, a program where police have a higher presence in neighborhoods and officers work to improve relationships with the residents.

As part of that move, Police Chief Milton Moore has re-established the police department’s NET Team, a special team of officers that steps up enforcement and patrols in areas in response to frequent citizen complaints about drugs, disturbances, loitering and other problems.

Flaggs established the 14-member crime prevention committee to examine crime in Vicksburg and address what he said was inaccurate information about crime being spread through social media.

The committee members include Flaggs as chairman, city attorney Nancy Thomas, city prosecutor Julie Decker, assistant prosecutor Stephen McMillin, Municipal Judge Toni Terrett, Judge Pro Tem Penny Lawson, Community Court Judge Allen Derivaux, Police Chief Milton Moore, deputy chiefs Bobby Stewart and Eric Paymon, patrol commander Capt. Penny Jones, investigations supervisor Sgt. Johnnie Edwards, downtown security owner Frederick Lane and human resources director Anne Bradley.

The goal of the committee, Flaggs said, was to develop a report on crime in the city.

“I want a comprehensive report on crime,” he said when he set the committee,

“And it should be ready in 60 to 90 days. We’re going to do studies, we’re going to look at other cities; look at everything.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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