Friday, February 12, 2010
The Jackson Police Department reported low crime figures in some precincts throughout the week of Feb. 1 to Feb. 7, but police are gearing up to deal with any potential hazards resulting from expected snowfall this week.
Police Assistant Chief Lee Vance suggested police be ready to shut down bridges and overpasses, especially in Precincts 3 and 4, which contain a comparatively high number of overpasses.
"Just in Precinct 3, you got half the Woodrow Wilson overpass, half of the Fortification Street overpass, and both ends of the Bailey Avenue overpass. That's 24 barricades right there," Vance told precinct commanders. "I'm thinking that if there are more barricades available, we need to build up a stockpile because when ice starts coming down we need to shut these things down so we're not working 400 accidents 24 hours at a time."
The Department of Public Works usually places barricades in the event of hazardous winter weather, but Vance said the police department needs to take the lead in restricting movement over suspect bridges.
"All I know is by the time Public Works gets out there on the streets, we've already got officers working accidents," Vance said. "By having the ability to put those barricades out there when we see fit, instead of waiting for public works to come out there and do it, I think we're probably going to save ourselves several dozen accidents."
"When it just snows it's usually not severe, but if there's ice it's bad. I mean, people already don't know how to drive when it's wet, much less icy," quipped one precinct commander.
Vance urged residents, in the event of winter conditions, to avoid driving on streets whenever possible.
Total violent crime for the year, which includes aggravated assault, armed robbery and carjacking, is up 25 percent from this time last year, with 157 incidents--a 29-incident rise compared to last year. The city has four fewer homicides than last year, however, with three incidents compared to seven reported incidents in 2009. Police reported only five incidents of rape, compared to eight incidents in 2009.
Total property crime dropped 7.5 percent this year, compared to this time last year, with 940 reported incidents compared to 1,016 incidents in 2009. Auto burglary dropped 16.6 percent in 2010, while auto theft dropped 37.2 percent. But business burglary neutralized much of the improvement in other areas of the property crime category. Businesses suffered an increase of 57 percent burglaries this year with 132 incidents, compared to 84 reported incidents in 2009.
Total major crime, including property and violent crimes, presented a 4.1 percent drop compared to this time last year.
"Many of our police are taking crime in their precinct very personally," said JPD spokesman Joseph Daughtry. "They're taking a personal interest in their neighborhoods, they're getting to know the residents, and they're pushing people to share information with police. We believe we're seeing an improvement through this behavior."
The snow looks so pretty. I had to go to work in it this morning, but if you don't have to go anywhere, just stay home. It's rather slushy out there. I don't have to drive on the interstates to get to work.
- golden eagle