Some thoughts on crime

Published 6:09 pm Saturday, July 14, 2018

To the editor:

Some thoughts on why crime is up in Vicksburg under Mayor Flaggs while the total number of arrests are down.

The total number of arrests as a statistic to measure crime does not work if criminals do more crime yet are arrested less.

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I was told there are about 4,500 or so 911 calls to the VPD per month this year, which would make a total of 54,000 calls a year if it keeps up like this. Clearly the situation has gotten out of hand. Police are overwhelmed and they are not making the number of arrests per 911 call needed to control the situation.

Out of the 54,000 calls made per year the Mayor’s statistics and graphs only 400 arrests were made in 2018. And the figure of the graph is drawn as if the year is already completed. We need to have the city keep statistics on the number of convictions in each category of crime instead of just the number of arrests.

If the police started making 1,000 arrests per year like they did in 2009, according to the same statistics and the judges and city attorneys dropped less cases, maybe some of the crime would go down.

We hear the judges say, “Well I can’t convict any one if they don’t send any case to me.” But, it is the judges that have to sign the arrest warrants before an arrest can be made.

Having the number of arrests down does not mean the crime problem is getting better.

In the Drummond Street area where I have lived for about 40 years, we have career criminals being used as drug informants, but they are the main ones using and selling the drugs.

And, policemen do not really respond to arrest warrants. They just knock on doors and letting the warrant go if nobody doesn’t answer.

Patrolmen are just driving by when a 911 call comes about known gang members smoking dope in their backyard and then doing nothing just encourages them to keep doing it.

Last month the Mayor had a public meeting on this and invited some of us to his office, but so far nothing has been done about these problems.

In my opinion, something needs to be done to increase the number of arrests, not decrease them and to follow through with cases to increase judicial convictions and sentencing.

 Andrew W. Harrell