It’s time to talk about solutions to violent crime

Published 10:16 am Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Like many in the community, the recent string of violent crimes occurring in Vicksburg and Warren County has been weighing on my mind.

The question everyone is asking, but no one has, or has publically communicated, a straight answer to is “what are we going to do about it?”

The answer is complex and the solution is not something that can be implemented and solved overnight.

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After some quick math, I was stunned to learn the number of shootings Vicksburg and Warren County has seen since mid-October are the equivalent of having one shooting every week.

Like most problems I encounter that I don’t immediately know the answer to, I look to others who have dealt with similar situations and found solutions that curbed the problem or at least lessened it. What’s the point in reinventing the wheel when others have dealt with and found solutions to similar problems?

Rudy Guiliani, mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001, is often credited with curbing the crime problem in the country’s largest city by adopting an aggressive enforcement policy based on James Q. Wilson’s Broken Windows research. The strategy included cracking down on offenses that are viewed as being “relatively minor,” like graffiti or jumping the subway.

Guiliani is quoted telling the press in 1998, “Obviously murder and graffiti are two vastly different crimes. But they are part of the same continuum, and a climate that tolerates one is more likely to tolerate the other.”

If you read the crime reports in our paper, you’ll notice often occurrences of automobile burglaries and other lesser, and “relatively minor” crimes. In light of this, Guiliani’s quote resonated.

Would cracking down on lesser crimes ultimately help curb violent ones in Vicksburg and Warren County?

It’s an interesting thought.

New York City is a much different beast than Vicksburg and Warren County, but this example stuck out to me as a solution that makes the city I enjoy visiting much different, and safer, than the one my mom and dad remember.

It is time that possible solutions are discussed, and as those potential solutions are offered, the community needs to stand ready to support city and county leaders as they work to make our home safer for all.

 

Catherine Boone Hadaway is publisher of The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at catherine.hadaway@vicksburgpost.com.

About Catherine Hadaway

Catherine Hadaway, as The Vicksburg Post’s publisher, oversees the business operations of the newspaper. She is a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala. and is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Business and Religion. She is a Director of Boone Newsmedia, Inc., the family company that owns The Post. Catherine comes from a long line of newspaper publishers, starting with her grandfather, Buford Boone, who served as publisher of The Tuscaloosa News and earned journalism's highest honor when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for his editorial titled "What a Price for Peace." Catherine is a member of The Rotary Club of Vicksburg, Junior Auxiliary of Vicksburg, The Heritage Guild, The Sampler Antique Club and The Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Executive Committee.

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