Jackson City Council member Ashby Foote remains hopeful that U.S. Attorney Bill Barr will act on the letter he sent in mid-October, asking him to authorize additional federal law enforcement to help get crime under control in Jackson.
“I haven’t heard anything back from him,” said Foote, who represents Ward 1. “With all of the preparations under way for possible violence after the election, I’m sure they were hesitant to deploy federal agents until they saw where they stood with that.”
Foote sent a letter on Oct. 15 to Barr and copied Mike Hurst, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, seeking their help in curbing crime in Jackson.
“I have talked to Mr. (Mike) Hurst, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi. I saw him in person and visited with him,” Foote said. “It’s not his call but Attorney General Barr’s call about deploying troops.”
Additional law enforcement officers are needed, Foote said, to work with the Jackson Police Department to take offenders off the streets and make citizens feel safer.
Foote included with his letter to Barr copies of two resolutions the Council passed on Oct. 13 that pertain to escalating crime. Foote wrote one of the resolutions and Council member Kenneth Stokes of Ward 3 the other.
Foote’s resolution calls for “unprecedented action to be taken to address the violence by exhausting all available resources from willing local, state, and federal authorities.”
Foote’s resolution notes as of Sept. 27 car jackings have risen by 217 percent, aggravated assaults by 57 percent, homicides by 44 percent, rape/sexual assaults by 41 percent and armed robberies by 15 percent.
The Jackson Police Department is understaffed by 100 sworn officers and has only 21 of the 50 detectives that are budgeted for, according to Foote’s resolution.
Stokes’ resolution notes “the Jackson Police Department being presently understaffed could use the help of federal law enforcement and the Hinds County Sheriff Department” to bring crime under control.