Yazoo City has seen five murders in the past five months.
A growing number of citizens are beginning to speak out against the rash of crimes in their neighborhoods.
City leaders recently took a stand against the violence that was on the rise at local late-night hot spots with tighter restrictions.
Residents are begging for some relief from local criminals and their disregard for law and order.
And perhaps a foot was put forward in rectifying those concerns during the last Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.
During Monday’s meeting, two more citizens asked the city council to help deter the loud noises and drug traffic in their neighborhoods. One resident asked the city leaders to focus on the police department.
However, city leaders placed no blame on anyone as they began the discussing solutions to the problem.
Mayor Diane Delaware said she began to take a closer look within the city’s departments when her adminstration began.
From the city clerk’s office to the code inspector to the parks and recreation department to public works, Delaware has spent many hours focused on ways to improve each department.
The police department was put high on that list this week with recent complaints and concerns.
“My focus, like a laser, will be on the police department,” she said. “Recently, there have been complaints made about our police department. Alderman (Aubry) Brent Jr. even noted that there are some areas where the police department is complaining about us.”
The core at many of the issues lie within basic law and order, Delaware said.
“It has become commonplace in Yazoo City, Mississippi, even sometimes around this table, to defend those who break the law,” she said. “It is time to stop this. There are basic laws that we have broken for years and years and years.”
From traffic violations to open drug deals to police officers refusing to address known drug houses, the cycle has raged for years, Delaware added.
“It has become a way of life in Yazoo City, Mississippi,” Delaware said. “It has to stop, or we shall become an uncivilized jungle.”
Delaware said simple laws such as parking have become issues. She said people are using garages as sun porches, resorting to parking cars illegally on city streets.
“All of these things create and uphold the broken window theory,” Delaware said. “If a window is broken in one place, then I can break it in another. I just keep on doing it.”
Delaware said police officers have also become victims.
“I have said it over and over again, and this board has said it over and over again,” she said. “All we ask you to do is your job. And all we ask citizens to do is obey the law.”
Delaware reminded city employees that they still have a job to do for the community.
“Folks who never do any more than they get paid for never get paid for any more than they do,” she said. “I want everyone to keep that in mind. If you do nothing, what will you be paid for? If you do nothing, you will get paid nothing. That’s just the way it is. We each have jobs to do, and we must do those jobs.”
Delaware thanked the police department for coming out in force this past weekend. She also suggested that the city apply for a law enforcement grant by June 1.
“We must take back our neighborhoods,” she concluded.