Vicksburg leaders to talk gun crimes, ‘zero tolerance’ policy

Published 6:32 am Monday, February 26, 2018

By John Surratt
The Vicksburg Post

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen will have a special meeting March 22 to discuss gunplay in the city.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. called the 5:30 p.m. meeting at the suggestion of North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield, who said Friday the board needs to meet with the city’s bar and nightclub owners about problems with reported disturbances at the clubs and possible solutions to increase safety at the businesses.

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Flaggs also invited city residents concerned about people shooting off firearms in their neighborhoods to attend.

“This is not just limited to night club owners; it’s citizens, too,” he said. “Let me tell you what the subject matter is, the subject matter is security and shooting, because that’s what’s causing problems in the neighborhood, because I’m getting calls about it. So we’ll talk about crime as it relates to firearms.”

The call for the meeting comes in the wake of a Wednesday night shooting at the Klondyke in which one person was shot in the chest. The shooting forced city officials to close the bar at the restaurant. The city and the restaurant’s owner signed an agreement Friday afternoon outlining steps the owner will take to improve security and prevent future problems.

“I think it would be good for us to do so they can understand the position that this is putting us in; we’re all getting calls,” Mayfield said. “I think it behooves us as an elected board to sit down with these individuals and make sure they are aware how we feel about what’s going on. They may be able to give us some pointers to us on what we need to help them and vice-versa.

“I want to know for myself that we have done our part in trying to get these things under control, because if we sit idly by and expect some of these issues to work themselves out, I think it can only get worse.”

Referring to recent shootings across the country, South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour said the board needs to make sure the city is a safe place.

“We want to make sure the people understand there’s some accountability for shootings in businesses, and on a personal level, you cannot do this,” Monsour said. “If you discharge a firearm in the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, you’re going to pay the consequences for it.

“If you have a business and you allow it to happen in your business, we’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and if you do, and it’s repetitive, you’re not going to operate a business in the city of Vicksburg, period. We’re not going to put up with it. We’re going to have safe city. We’re going to have a zero tolerance in Vicksburg and you’re going to be safe.” Monsour added.