Vicksburg police to begin mobile substations in neighborhoods

Published 3:37 pm Monday, September 13, 2021

Beginning Tuesday, the Vicksburg Police Department’s mobile command post will begin visiting neighborhoods to get the officers and residents better acquainted with each other, starting with the New Main Apartments on Alcorn Drive.

Police Chief Penny Jones said the department will set up its mobile command post in the parking lot of the New Main Apartments to act as a substation in the area.

“We do line-up every morning at 6:45; tomorrow we will do line-up at 6:45 at New Main,” she said. “An officer will be on duty at the command post and residents can go and file complaints and affidavits or if there is a problem, they can talk to an officer.”

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She said one of the police department’s mobile cameras will also be in the neighborhood.

Jones said the move is the second phase of the police department’s program to improve community policing in the city. The first was Operation Blitz, a law enforcement program to crack down on crime by catching criminals by surprise.

“We will be moving the command post to different neighborhoods,” she said. “We’re going to the problem neighborhoods, but we’re going to be going to other neighborhoods. We want the residents to get to know the officers. The residents know many of us because we’ve been with the department, but we have some younger officers they don’t know.”

Jones did not say how long the command post would stay in a neighborhood.

“It will be trial-and-error the first time,” she said. “In some places, we may have to do different things. That’s something we’ll have to determine.”

Jones said much of that decision would depend on the neighborhoods and the residents.

One thing she hopes, Jones said, is that the officers and residents will get to know each other well enough that officers will be able to pass through a neighborhood and notice if something may be suspicious in the area.

She said the police department is also expanding, pointing out it will be getting five experienced officers through lateral transfers — transfers from another department to Vicksburg.

“I believe the officers are transferring because of what we’re trying to do here, the change in leadership and we’ve gotten a raise in pay,” she said. “We’re going to be giving an entry-level exam and hope we can get one or two more people.”

Also, she said, the department is getting six more mobile cameras that can be relocated to different parts of the city.

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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