Flaggs takes strong position in addressing crime in Vicksburg

Published 5:29 pm Monday, November 4, 2019

When unveiling a new organizational chart for the Vicksburg Police Department, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said it was his brainchild; it was his plan and a fix to a problem that had caused him some sleepless nights.

During the press conference unveiling the new chart, new deputy chief of patrol position and streamlined responsibilities, Flaggs said if it does not work, he would be the one to take the blame.

Monday, with the swearing-in of Penny Jones as the deputy chief of patrol, the new chart and new structure is in place.

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Now we wait and see.

During Flaggs’ tenure as mayor, he has never been one to avoid the spotlight or shirk responsibilities. More times than not, he has been out in front of issues, at times sharing his thoughts and opinions before a plan or solution is in place. He has not quite taken the “ready, fire, aim” approach, but there have been times when he has been close.

With the adoption of an amended charter in 2017, Flaggs was given more individual control over the police and fire department. He has taken such control seriously, and the step he took with the new organizational chart, places him squarely as the one to blame for any failures or thank for any successes.

The question now is what is success? What is a statistic that can be used as a measuring stick for success?

From the outside looking in, the new structure appears to be more organized and makes sense. Then again, there are very few of us with the operational experience of running a police department to make such an opinion.

What will be used to measure success is not just lower crime rates, but the level of safety and comfort residents feel in their homes and neighborhoods. Will a more streamlined focus work? We hope and pray that it will.

Flaggs has said that one crime is one too many in Vicksburg. We agree.

We also agree the department and the community must work better together in addressing the level of crime we have.

And, we agree that if such a plan doesn’t work, then Flaggs will be the one held responsible.