Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs, Jr. is considering emergency declaration for the city, citing violence seen recently in media.
During the Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting on Monday, Flaggs began by expressing he felt “torn” about the last two weeks within the city and likened his feelings to the Charles Dicken’s classic, A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Flaggs mentioned positive economic growth and prosperity and legislation approval of funds, but also focused on how the city has been portrayed on television.
“TV has embarrassed us,” said Flaggs. “Bar fights, domestic violence…”
Flaggs continued to express the need for the violence in the city to end. Recently, several drive-by shootings and domestic violence incidents have occurred. The violent crime has not given Vicksburg the image the board wants.
“Police and law enforcement have got to get back to protecting and serving with honor and dignity and pride,” said Flaggs. “I’m looking at a civil emergency order and seeing what the authority is for us as a board to try to step in and do what we need to do to make certain our city can continue to be the city that we want.”
Flaggs stated many are looking to blame the police department for the state of things. However, he believes it is because people are turning on each other. He also stated he believes that COVID-19 has had a part to play in adding to the stress of the citizens.
Flaggs went on to state the possible need for a city-wide curfew to cut down on overnight congregations.
“The congregating on the streets at night, walking up and down the streets after 2 a.m., making noise. People can’t sleep,” stated Flaggs. “It’s not going to happen. We’ll put a curfew down. I’m looking at the emergency statute now. I can do it for five days and if this board don’t agree with me, they can take it off but the blood is on them then because I’m going to protect this city.
It just don’t make any sense, the hanging out on the streets and doing things. We’re better than that. We’re a city by the river that is better than that and we can do better. We’ll close every night club down one by one until it stops.”
Flaggs then warned that if things within the city don’t improve, he is willing to take the steps necessary to do something about it himself.
“If it gets like this next weekend, we’re shutting every club down until we learn to behave in a way that we can enjoy life,” stated Flaggs.
Alderman Mayfield agreed with Flaggs, “We want what’s good, we want what’s right and we want what’s fair for the citizens of this city.”
Mayfield then compared how things have changed from when he was younger. “Now you and I see young people out there, 12, 13, 14-years-old at 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. That’s not right.”
“We all live in this community. We should not have to walk around in fear. We live here, we work here, we go to church here, we have families here and its not fair for us to allow this, as elected officials. The citizens are looking for us to do whatever it takes to stem what is going on,” said Mayfield.
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