On Monday, at the Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting, the Board responded to local perception of violent crime in Vicksburg.
“Violence is running rampant in our country; don’t know what to do,” expressed Mayor Flaggs in response to another shooting in Vicksburg. Flaggs referenced a recent killing at his alma mater, Jackson State, when considering violence nationwide.
Considering whether the violence in Vicksburg is indicative of a country-wide problem, Flaggs said, “I think it’s a snapshot; I pray it’s a snapshot.”
Flaggs went on to address the nature of crime in Vicksburg, stating, “Some crime you can’t stop… The kind of crime we have is the kind of emotional and how people respond; they’re domestic in nature… the perpetrator and the victim know each other or they’re talking to each other.”
Flaggs then discussed the contrast between this kind of crime and more random violence, stating, “What we don’t have, and thank God that we don’t have, is crime against the public. That means that you are randomly submitted to an act of violence.”
Concerning prevention, Flaggs praised the recent focus on installing cameras around the city as one good “tool” while admitting there are limitations to this approach including blindspots.
“You can’t put a camera on every street,” said Flaggs.
Concerning other prevention methods, Flaggs stated, “I think the best way is through enhancing the education system, creating jobs and job opportunities which will help the quality of life.”
Flaggs also mentioned the need for community support. “If you see something, say something,” said Flaggs referencing many crimes that go unreported for various reasons.
Alderman Micheal Mayfield added his views on traffic annoyances and warned offenders to reconsider in light of the new cameras.
“One thing I’m noticing more of is people that are burning out around this town,” said Mayfield. “Remember [the cameras] catch you from the front, the side, and the back… If you can’t hide, and we find you, you will be arrested; and you should be because you are destroying this city with this foolishness… so please stop.”
Alderman Alex Monsour chimed in on what he believes is a false perception of crime in Vicksburg as well, referencing the crime report for September:
“Domestic violence leads every other violent crime in Vicksburg by over double, and domestic violence is something we can not control, but we can react… As you can see [the police] react and they solve most of these crimes.”
Mayfield and Flaggs both mentioned Facebook as a source of potential misunderstanding of crime in Vicksburg.
“It affects me to see those select people that want to talk this city down, and when you look at the whole picture of Vicksburg, [crime] is minuscule when you look at other cities that surround us,” said Monsour,