FIGHTING CRIME GOES PRIME-TIME: Vicksburg police considered for TV program

Published 1:11 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

The Vicksburg Police Department could soon have its own TV show.

Vicksburg Police Chief Penny Jones told the Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday she was contacted by Spoke Studios, an Emmy-winning producer of documentary-type programs, about doing a series on the police department in the style of “First 48” and “Cops.”

Jones said the city is not spending any money on the program.

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She said the program would be distributed nationwide.  No dates have been set for filming the program, pending a meeting with the producers.

Jones said the agreement with the company had to be approved by the board.

“Now that it has been approved, I will call the producers and we will set up a time for them to meet with me,” she said.

She said the producers visited the city and looked at the historic areas and they were curious about the crime in the area.

“They were very interested in here,” Jones said, adding that she sees the program as a way to tell the department’s story.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for people to see my officers in the light of what they do every day, especially the detectives, and I believe that it will bring a lot of publicity to Vicksburg, not just in a bad light to see police officers arresting someone.”

One thing Jones hopes the program will do is encourage more residents to cooperate with police concerning crime in the community.

“When we’re talking about ‘See something, say something,’ I think people in the community will have an opportunity to see what we’re doing,” Jones said. “They’ll see something going on in their city or their neighborhood and say, ‘Hey, I may need to start talking.’

“I just want the guys to have an opportunity to express how they feel about police work,” Jones said, adding she hopes the program will also encourage more people to consider becoming police officers.

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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