US Justice Department to help lower city of Jackson’s crime rate

JACKSON, Tenn. — The city of Jackson has made a U.S. Department of Justice list of just 12 cities nationwide that need help combating crime.

Capt. Phillip Kemper of the Jackson Police Department went to Maryland this week for the National Summit on Crime Reduction and Public Safety. Capt. Kemper, center, is seen here with Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The Hub City is now part of the National Public Safety Partnership Program, which will have teams work with the city in providing data in hopes of lowering the high crime rate.

Tuesday, the Justice Department unveiled a new initiative to combat violent crime, selecting 12 cities whose levels of violence far exceed the national level. Among those 12 are two cities in Tennessee — Memphis and Jackson.

“Basically, the United States of America is concerned about the citizens of Jackson, Tennessee,” said Capt. Phillip Kemper of the Jackson Police Department.

Members of the Department, along with Kemper, spent part of the week in Maryland for the National Summit on Crime Reduction and Public Safety along with the 11 other selected cities. Vice President Mike Pence was the keynote speaker who added that crime statistics shouldn’t be seen as numbers but people, families and lives shattered by violence.

“In the next three to six months, they’ll probably be some more updates and some more visible parts of partnership between the Department of Justice and not only the Jackson Police Department but the Memphis Police Department,” Capt. Kemper said.

A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report from 2016 showed in the city of Jackson there were seven murders, over 1,000 reports of vandalism and almost 2,000 reports of simple assault.