For the first time the Capitol City's Police Department has earned state accreditation. There has also been a decrease in crime over the last year. As MPB's Maura Moed reports, these achievements could mean more growth for Jackson.
On February 17, JPD met all 140 standards set by the Mississippi Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. The standards include ways to provide adequate training for officers, controlling crime, and providing more services to the community.
Jackson Police Chief Lee Vance says it's been a long time coming.
"This is a building block toward what we want to have here, and that's the best police department in the country. Many chiefs and their staffs have taken it on before and have not been able to complete for one reason or the other. It was a huge undertaking, so we've passed the bar sort-of speak," says Vance.
Vance says things may be starting to turn around for Jackson. All four of the city's precincts are now registering registering fewer crimes. The precinct with the highest reduction in overall crime rate saw a decline of 41.6 percent. Another precinct saw a decrease in violent crime of 33.3 percent.
Yolanda Clay-Moore is with the Jackson Convention and Visitor's Bureau. She says the decrease in crimes sets a new precedence for the city's future.
"To have a precinct with a 41 percent decrease in crime is phenomenal. Not a lot of cities can say that, so that helps improve the product, and also people's perception of Jackson," Clay-Moore says.
This is the first time the Jackson Police Department has earned accreditation. They are the largest of the 27 agencies in the state to be accredited.