Promise Not Kept

When Malcolm McMillin accepted the job as Jackson’s police chief last year, he promised to improve the moribund department while balancing his duties as sheriff of Hinds County.

He faced budget, manpower and morale problems and responded by marrying resources of the Police and Sheriff’s departments, restructuring patrol beats and reinstituting policies on dress code, take-home cars and promotional exams.

While McMillin may have improved JPD’s image, he can’t say he has lowered crime.

During his first 11 months as chief, major crimes in Jackson rose 5 percent. Crime statistics reported to the FBI by JPD shows there were 15,640 total major crimes reported between November 2007 and September of this year, compared with 14,945 between November 2006 and September

McMillin often has expressed concern about the city’s homicide rate. There have been 60 reported killings, more than any other year in a decade. Though McMillin worries the statistic could overshadow improvements within JPD, he says the department is not to blame because most of the homicides result from domestic altercations. “We don’t have the manpower to put an officer or a deputy in every house, in every kitchen,” he has said.

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