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Mayor Flaggs outlines proposal to reorganize the Vicksburg Police Department



Mayor George Flaggs Jr. at Wednesday's news conference. Photo courtesy City of Vicksburg.

Vicksburg Mayor and Police Commissioner George Flaggs Jr. today outlined his proposed plan to “streamline” the organization of the city’s police department.

The proposal will make the department more accountable to the public while reducing crime, the mayor’s office said in a statement.

“One murder, one crime is one too many in the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and won’t be tolerated as long as I’m mayor” Flaggs said in the statement. “Also, I want the public to know exactly who is responsible and whom they need to approach if there’s any problem.”

The proposed reorganization adds a third deputy chief to the department. The two existing deputy chiefs, Bobby Stewart and Eric Paymon, lead operations and administration, respectively.

“This does not function,” Flaggs said today looking at the current organization. “It’s too many places where you cannot find information. … It goes all over the place.”

“I want every person in this city to have access to any information that should be available to the public,” he added.

The proposal breaks the operations position into two units, investigations/operations and patrol. The mayor proposed that Capt. Penny Jones take on the new patrol deputy chief position, reporting directly to Chief Milton Moore along with the two existing deputies. Moore was “very receptive” to the proposal, Flaggs said, which will not relieve the chief of any responsibility.

The mayor said it was the city’s perception that crime is out of control in Vicksburg led him to make the proposal. It will create more functional responsibility and accountability within the department, Flaggs said.

“We have had too much zig-zagging in authority,” the mayor said of the department’s current organizational chart. “We need to have direct lines of authority and direct lines of responsibility to create greater clarity and efficiency for the public.”

Flaggs indicated that the department needs to “make community involvement a top priority,” and he believes this reorganization will help achieve that.

“The goal is to increase crime prevention and reduce crime while making the Vicksburg Police Department more accessible to the public,” he said.

The proposed reorganization must be approved by the city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen before the police department can put the changes in place.

View the entire news conference online on the Vicksburg Daily News Facebook page.

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