Despite statistics showing a decrease in crime within Yazoo City, one city alderman said the criminal element has become “ridiculous.”
Alderman Sir Johnathan Rucker said the figures surrounding the number of reported crimes may sound good, but he said he is thinking about one number…the death of a man on Main Street following a shooting last week.
“Let’s think about the number of people who are suffering in Yazoo City,” Rucker said. “As a city, we have got to do better. No matter what the numbers say, crime has grown. It is ridiculous. One life is a whole lot.”
Rucker said he continues to receive complaints about the response time from police officers within the community.
“Is there a policy or ordinance that everybody is supposed to be within Yazoo County,” he asked.
“As far as ordinances, you can read them just like we can,” replied Mayor Diane Delaware.
Delaware added that there are several factors that contribute to response time from police officers within the city. From dispatch to availability to the type of call received, she said there is not set formula to calculate a response time.
Alderman Andre Lloyd, who is also a former officer and police chief, agreed.
“It is about availability and if the officer is already on a call that they can’t leave,” Lloyd said. “That is what slows response time down. Sometimes you can’t break away as quickly as you would like.”
Police Chief Ron Sampson said when his department is fully staffed, he would like to have five officers in the streets at a time. However, resources and manpower also contribute to the overall concern.
“It’s also not that you are not there,” Sampson said, referring to police presence. “It is that you are just not seen.”
Delaware said the statistics can’t lie…crime has decreased despite the recent shootings and two deaths that have occurred within the past week.
“You can’t make these numbers up,” she said.