Gov. Tate Reeves today announced he signed House Bill 1020, Senate Bill 2343, House Bill 795, and Senate Bill 2101 which strengthen public safety in Mississippi’s capital city, Jackson.
“The fact is that Jackson has so much potential. It is our capital city and the heart of our state. It is where I have lived for over one-third of my life,” said Gov. Reeves. “But Jackson has to be better. Downtown Jackson should be so safe that it is a magnet for talented young people to come and live and work and create. This legislation won’t solve the entire problem, but if we can stop one shooting, if we can respond to one more 911 call – then we’re one step closer to a better Jackson. I refuse to accept the status quo. As long as I’m Gov., the state will keep fighting for safer streets for every Mississippian no matter their politics, race, creed, or religion – regardless of how we’re portrayed by liberal activists or in the national media.”
The state has increased funding to support 150 Capitol Police officers and will provide additional bandwidth for the city’s police officers to patrol other parts of the city.
The legislation also expands the Capitol Complex Improvement District, provides more funding to the Hinds County District Attorney to hire two additional assistant district attorneys and a criminal investigator, and provides more funding to the Hinds County Office of the Public Defender to hire three more public defenders.
The legislation creates an inferior municipal court charged with hearing cases from the Capitol Complex Improvement District (CCID). This court can be reviewed without deference by elected county and circuit court judges.
This legislation also further expands police transparency efforts, as the Mississippi Department of Public Safety leadership must hold a town hall meeting with city residents quarterly and Capitol Police officers will be required to wear body cameras.
Senate Bill 2343 expands the jurisdiction of Capitol Police in the Capitol Complex Improvement District. It provides primary jurisdiction to Capitol Police in the CCID and concurrent jurisdiction in Jackson.
House Bill 795 increases the fines and penalties for shoplifting in Mississippi.
Senate Bill 2101 increases the minimum term of imprisonment for the crime of fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer, increases the minimum term of imprisonment for the crime or carjacking and armed carjacking, and ensures that those minimum imposed terms shall not be reduced or suspended.
This legislation is in response to Jackson’s unprecedented crime epidemic. Notable crime statistics include:
• Jackson is approximately 6% of Mississippi’s population yet, in 2020, accounted for more than 50% of the homicides in the state.
• The city set records for homicides within the city in 2020 and 2021.
• In 2021, Jackson’s homicide rate was almost 100 murders per 100,000 residents – nearly 13 times higher than the US rate of 7.8 per 100,000.
• In 2022, Jackson’s homicide rate was approximately 88.9. That year, Jackson found itself in the company of Tijuana, Acapulco, and Caracas as one of the most dangerous places in the world.