What happens in Hinds County does not stay in Hinds County, it bleeds out into the surrounding areas and counties. Hinds County is the home of the state capital, Jackson, MS. This is where our great state is governed and what happens in Hinds County affects the whole state, especially the surrounding counties. The major hospitals, medical specialist, state office buildings, coliseum, fairgrounds, Kirk Fordice Equine Center, Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, Jackson State University, and many more important facilities, colleges and universities are located right here in Hinds County. We are the home of the Dixie National Rodeo, The Mississippi Black Rodeo, Mississippi State Fair, Mississippi Quarter Horse Association as well as many other events and organizations that bring a lot of income into our city and county. But these events and many more are taking hits in participation and spectator attendance and are being threatened due to a high crime rate. Violent crime is spiraling out of control in Jackson, MS and this can not be tolerated. Millions of dollars are being spent in an effort to revitalize the downtown area without first addressing the core issue which is the high crime rate in the area.
Our Senior citizens, who have given so much to our city and county during their prime are now being held captive in their own homes because of safety concerns, and this is completely unacceptable. Senior citizens are some of the most vulnerable targets who very often fall prey to criminals looking to steal from them or scam them out of their limited income. I will work with the district attorney and judges to see to it that these individuals who take advantage of our senior citizens are dealt with harshly and senior citizens will not be held hostage anymore.
The real estate industry is hurting as well, with property values constantly depreciating in Hinds County and the developer’s reluctant to build subdivisions, realtors are unable to sell large acreages of land. I refer to this as the economics of crime, which has largely been ignored in Hinds County. Crime and prosperity are relative to each other, where there is high crime there is low prosperity. I will work to reverse this equation and bring prosperity back to all citizens of Hinds County.
Where prosperity is low, there is a little to no opportunity, which means we invite our youth into a life of crime, to be on government substitutes or lose them to other cities and states. There is less incentive for them to get an education, go to college or learn a trade when there is no opportunity to apply these skills in their home town or area without having to leave their family and friends. Many of these youth, who if given the opportunity to succeed, could have successful careers and be productive members of society. Instead, some of them have their hopes and dreams vanquished by cold-blooded killers. These lost lives might have been different had they had an opportunity, these killings have to be brought under control. I have a plan to help the youth who want to succeed but might have limited opportunity. For those who don’t want to succeed and want to live a life of crime, well I have a plan for them too it is called incarceration. My plan for those who want to succeed includes getting local churches involved to form Youth Mentoring Centers and programs to provide, education and job training. This program will also provide much-needed encouragement to those who might be lacking it at home.
I will work toward relocating the Raymond Detention facility to Jackson, MS where it can be operated more efficiently and cost-effective. The Raymond Detention Center is in shambles and is being run like a party house rather than a detention facility, as depicted by recent cell phone videos coming from there. These inmates are seen partying, smoking marijuana and talking on cell phones even being so bold as to show their faces. The detention centers have become a joke and new inmates look at it as an opportunity to reunite with their locked-up compadres. I believe a detention facility should be more consequential and serve as a deterrent. I will restore order and make it where it is not so appealing to would-be criminals and promote safety for both inmates and detention officers. We are currently looking at prospective locations and designs plus approximate cost. In 1994 when the Raymond Detention Facility was opened the transportation cost alone to the taxpayers of Hinds County was one million ($1,000,000,000.00) dollars, which with inflated gas prices the cost has only risen. The jail needs to be near the courts, medical facilities, and other resources as they are in other cities.
It needs to be near a large law enforcement presence in case of trouble, and the biggest percentage of inmates come from the City of Jackson. I have worked in the Hinds County Detention Center and I am familiar with its operation. I know the issues and I know the solutions. I have also taken a jail operations course and my staff and I have attended jail seminars as well as done research in jail operations over the past year.
The sheriff is the Chief law enforcement officer in the county, and it is his job to work with all law enforcement agencies within the county and the surrounding counties to develop crime strategies and to combat crime. When I worked under Sheriff Malcolm McMillin, I was always the one he called upon when there were crime sprees and turmoil in the county, and sometimes in the City of Jackson. I would develop and implement crime strategies which almost always ended with a successful outcome assuring victims of crime received justice and criminals went to jail. My team has a strategy that involves working with local law enforcement agencies to help combat crime in the city of Jackson, and other cities if needed. This would be done without pulling resources from the county leaving citizens, that rely solely on the sheriff’s department, without protection. Crime in the rural areas of Hinds County is on the rise as well and needs to be brought under control. Some areas of Hinds County rarely see a deputy unless they are called to report a crime. Law enforcement should always be proactive, not reactive, and under my watch, it will be. I will be a hands-on sheriff for Hinds County and there will be occasions when victims of crime will see me pulling in their driveway in support of my deputies.
I will work with all local, state and federal law enforcement partners to fight crime and keep the citizens, especially the Senior Citizens and youth safe. I will work to reduce the influx of drugs which is being distributed to our youth and combat human trafficking, two of the biggest threats to young people in America today.
Hinds County Citizens can rest assured that I will always see to it that their tax dollars are wisely spent and never misused. I intend to cut unnecessary expenditures and pass the savings down to those on the front line who are severely underpaid. For years the Hinds County Penal Farm saved the taxpayers thousands of dollars by raising enough vegetables to feed all of the jails and still have enough to sell and make approximately $60,000.00 a year. Now because the County Farm no longer has work crews, our streets and highways go littered because it is an extra burden on local municipalities to have to pay workers to clean up the trash. Realizing what a valuable asset the Hinds County Penal Farm was I will work to restore it to where it was back in its glory days.
I will strive to see to it that every employee of the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department has the best training, and always provides professional, courteous and friendly service to every citizen and visitor of Hinds County. I encourage every voter in Hinds County to go to my website and check out my credentials, my staff, who are the best in their fields, and my plans to make Hinds County safer and more prosperous. You will also find the contributions I have already made in my career to make Hinds County and the City of Jackson a safer place. I will have an open-door policy and community leaders and representatives will always have my ear, I will always keep an open mind to suggestions on the needs of the community and how to better serve them. I will work diligently to keep a spirit of communication and cooperation with all local law enforcement heads and their departments in and around Hinds County to achieve a common goal, keeping our communities safe.
If you live in one of the surrounding counties you too have an interest in what happens in Hinds County and contributions would be greatly appreciated.
I will make it my personal mission to see to it that all who live, work, play and visit the great county of Hinds, the City of Jackson and all its municipalities are made to feel safer.