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Mayor Flaggs outlines proposal to reorganize the Vicksburg Police Department

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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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One struck by a car on MLK

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One person has been hit by a car near 1911 MLK Jr Boulevard.

 

At 10:30 p.m. Friday night, a call came into the E911 call center that a person had been struck by a vehicle at that location. The vehicle is still on scene and police, fire medic 20, rescue and Ladder 3 are all en route to the scene.

The injured party is complaining of leg pain.

We will update this story as more information becomes available. For now, please avoid the area and allow emergency responders plenty of room to do their job.

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One shot on 61 South

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At around 4:30 this afternoon an individual showed up at University Medical Center suffering from a gunshot wound that he claimed had happened on 61 South in Vicksburg.

Vicksburg Police Investigators were dispatched to UMC to follow up on the incident. Deputy Chief Bobby Stewart tells us that at around 7:25 p.m. three individuals were taken into custody on Fog Drive off of 61 South.

One is believed to be the shooter, the others have outstanding warrants through Municipal Court.

This is a fluid and developing story. We will release additional information as it becomes available to us.

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USDA approves waiver to allow SNAP beneficiaries time to report losses

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The federal government has approved a request from Mississippi to provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beneficiaries additional time to report food losses due to severe weather and flooding this month.

The approval waives the requirement that SNAP losses be reported within 10 days to receive replacement benefits, U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) announced today.

SNAP benefits are provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. With the waiver in place, families displaced by flooding will be eligible to get food replaced even if they can’t report the losses within the usual 10 days.

The waiver applies to Attala, Carroll, Chickasaw, Claiborne, Clay, Copiah, Greene, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Leake, Leflore, Madison, Quitman, Rankin, Warren, Washington, Wilkinson and Yazoo counties.

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