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Flaggs: Lowering crime is the city’s No. 1 priority for 2021

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(photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash)

The City of Vicksburg has doubled the amount of money being paid for information on homicides leading to arrests.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said during his Wednesday afternoon news conference that his No. 1 issue to address in 2021 is crime.

Flaggs said the city has 46 unsolved homicides, five of which occurred in 2020. “We need to resolve those cases,” he said.

Additional funds have been allocated to match the $2,500 Crime Stoppers pays for information leading to arrests, bringing the total to $5,000. Tips can be called into the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511 or reported to Crime Stoppers at 601-355-TIPS (8477).

The mayor said he thought it strange that most victims know their perpetrator, but national statistics bear out that finding. In rapes and sexual assaults, for example, up to 90% of victims know the person who attacked them.

Bringing the police force up to optimal numbers is also on his agenda.

“We have to do a better job of retaining and recruiting police officers,” Flaggs said, and a better job of community policing.

“Crime has got to go down,” he said, urging residents to report crimes to 911, to the police department, Crime Stoppers or even to himself if they feel that is what’s necessary.

Other issues the mayor mentioned as priorities for the coming year include riverfront development, increasing tourism, retail expansion, improving infrastructure including street repairs, recreation and additional housing for all income levels.

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