Mayor wants more public cameras in city

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Vicksburg is getting more security cameras, starting with the city’s parking garages, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said.

“We are putting up cameras as quick as we can in the parking garages entrances and exits,” Flaggs said before Monday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. “I don’t care what it costs, and if we can’t do it, we’ll contract it out, I don’t care what it costs.”

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Flaggs comments follow the discovery of apparent obscene graffiti on the walls of both downtown parking garages off Washington Street.

“There was some information on the parking garages that was totally unacceptable, one of them looked like a class of some seniors, but the writing and the discourse (was objectionable).”

The board in August 2017 approved buying and installing video cameras in the parking garages and the city to help police combat crime. City workers in June began installing high resolution cameras in certain areas of the city. Flaggs and Police Chief Milton Moore have access to video from each of the city’s cameras.

The mayor said he’s ready to have more installed.

“We’re going to do it if we have to borrow money,” he said, adding he is read to dip into the city’s $3 million reserve fund to buy cameras if necessary.

“I’m ready to go in and spend money, even if it takes $1 million to buy cameras for the city,” he said. “I’m willing to spend $1 million out of reserve to put more cameras on Clay Street, Washington Street, downtown.

“We’re about to put cameras up in some areas, and the chief has got a couple of sites,” he said. “Enough is enough; we’re going to put more cameras up and we’re going to get serious about crime. We’re going to be serious about whoever is writing and marking up the buildings and the floodwall down by the depot and the splash pad; all our recreation facilities.

“We’re going to give the police department and the city all the cameras it needs; it’s just too important. We spend too much money and time for a handful of people to disgrace and do what they do, and I hope to God that when we catch them (the vandals) that we lock them up and throw away the key.”

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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