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CRIME IN DECLINE: Statistics show major crime decline in city

Major crime is down in Vicksburg, according to statistics released by the Vicksburg Police Department.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. released the figures at Monday’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The numbers are based on a comparison of crime statistics from July 2017, when the new administration took office, to June 2018, with a similar period from July 2018 to June 2019.

Police Chief Milton Moore said part of the reason for the overall reduction in crime was Mayor George Flaggs’ comment that “when it came to public safety, overtime was not an issue.”

“With him giving me that green light, it allowed me to put more officers on the street, which has been very beneficial.”

According to the breakdown, reported major crime was down 5.77 percent, from 1,814 during July 2017 to June 2018, to 1,715 from July 2018 to June 2019. Among those reported crimes down between 2018 and 2019, murder was down 40 percent, armed robbery down 116.67 percent, aggravated assault down 36.36 percent, rape down 57.14 percent, DUIs 51.69 percent and burglary was down 6.7 percent.

 

Three crimes — auto theft, domestic violence and drug charges — were up for the same period.

The total number of arrests were up during July 2018 to June 2019, with a total of 4,023 felony and misdemeanor arrests compared to 3,952 total arrests for the previous year

Some major felony arrests, however, were down between July 2018 and June 2019, when compared with the previous year.

Murder arrests were down 46 percent, with six arrests reported between July 2018 and June 2019, compared with 13 the previous year.

Vicksburg police investigated five murders in 2017 and nine in 2018, with one unsolved. There has been one reported murder for 2019. Moore said arrests in several murder cases involved multiple suspects.

Besides Flaggs’approval of overtime, Moore said the police department’s NET Team, “Is always a big help, serving felony warrants, getting out on street corners, making arrests.”

And while the numbers are down, Moore said, “We are still having to work hard, because the city is still growing and public safety is a priority. We’re just going to continue to work hard and continue to serve the city.”

Flaggs commended Moore and the police department for its work, adding, “You can have all the success you want in a community, but if you don’t reduce crime, you can’t grow effectively. I still believe in zero tolerance as it relates to crime.”

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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