City to take look at crime statistics

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 2, 2009

NATCHEZ — If you are worried that crime is up in Natchez, you aren’t alone.

Alderman Ricky Gray has the same concerns and has asked the police department to compile a comprehensive report on crime rates between the years 2000 and 2008.

At the last board of aldermen meeting, Gray asked Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins to pull the figures together so the city could work toward reducing crime.

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“I think the crime rate is up,” Gray said “I want to see the numbers to make sure they are up.”

Mullins said there hasn’t been an exponential increase in crime in the past eight years.

And from 1994 to 2007 — the last time Mullins said he ran comprehensive figures — crime had gone down.

In 1994, the total incidents were 1,787. In 2007, there were 764 fewer crimes committed.

Also, Mullins said he crunched numbers comparing the first six months of 2008 versus the first six months of 2007, and all criminal activity had decreased in 2008 except for larceny.

That still leaves the second six months of 2008, which likely did increase, Mullins said. The police department has been very active over those six months, he said.

“There’s been a lot more going on,” Mullins said.

He included calls for service placed by residents, which have gone up this year.

Gray said he wants to look at the numbers and whether they are up or down, he wants to revive the city and county’s crime prevention committee.

The committee was comprised of Mullins, the Adams County sheriff, elected city and county officials and representatives of the judicial and school systems.

“I think it was beneficial,” he said.

Gray said the last meeting of the committee was a few weeks before the city election.

He attributed the committee’s dissolution with the change in administration.

Hopefully, reviewing the figures and bringing crime to the forefront of discussions will lead to a renewed interest in tackling crime in Adams County, Gray said.

“Anytime you’re dealing with crime you want to find a way to alleviate that problem,” he said.

Mullins said the report should be ready for presentation at the board’s Jan. 13 meeting.