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Mississippi is prioritizing public safety in the state’s capital city of Jackson to control violent crime and drug trafficking. 

On Tuesday, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced plans to partner with Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba to launch Operation Unified, an initiative that will target drug traffickers and violent criminals with increased police presence in the city.

“Jacksonians deserve to live in peace, and they should not have to fear for their safety while running errands or commuting to work,” Gov Reeves said during his announcement. “Together with our local and federal partners, we will put a stop to it.”

According to AP, the initiative, which began in January, includes the Jackson Police Department, the state-run Capitol Police, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

Although there have been few details shared about how the new public safety plan will work, Jackson Mayor Lumumba co-signed the initiative saying he’s moving past disagreements with fellow Republicans to make Jackson a safer place.

Jackson, Mississippi Struggles With Lack Of Water 3 Weeks After Winter Storms

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“I hope that as we move forward, we can pledge to the residents of Jackson that our goal will not be for them to feel policed, but to feel protected,” Lumumba said.

The prioritizing of public safety comes just a month after Jackson’s latest water mishap that left around 12,000 residents with low or no water pressure.

In January, Jackson officials announced the latest precautionary boil water notice after residents were notified that traces of E. coli were found in the city’s water supply system. 

Jackson’s water woes and public health problems have been an ongoing issue in the city for decades. 

According to Time, Jackson has struggled with safe water access since the 1940s, but nothing has been done.

The Environmental Protection Agency (APA) warned the city about the water plant’s poor infrastructure in 1970 and 2020, but nothing was done to solve the matter.

As NewsOne previously reported, in August 2022, Mississippi announced that the city’s water system was failing. Thousands were left without adequate water supply as a result. Jackson has a population of over 149,000 and nearly 85.5% of residents are Black, according to the Census.

O.B. Curtis is the largest water treatment plant in the city. During a press conference, Gov. Tate Reeves cautioned that the plant would be temporarily shut down until officials could figure out the cause of the malfunction. According to Reeves, the main water pumps at O.B. Curtis were “damaged severely” when the city issued its first boil water notice on Jul. 29, 2022. At the time, the governor did not reveal the source of the damage. Officials said the city was relying on small backup pumps until the system completely went offline.

Mississippi is the poorest state in the union; 18.8% of its residents live at or below the poverty line. The state also boasts the highest child poverty rate, with 27.9% of its under-18 population meeting federal poverty guidelines.

Reducing crime in Jackson should certainly be at the top of the list when prioritizing needs, but public health, which has plagued the city, can not be overlooked. 


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The post Mississippi Prioritizes Public Safety In Jackson Despite Latest Water Mishap appeared first on NewsOne.

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