The FBI has joined forces with the DEA and Jackson Police Department to combat homicides and drug trafficking in Mississippi’s capital city.

Division often comes from politics, no matter what side of the aisle.

But politicians from the left and right still sometimes come together to tackle problems that affect all their constituents.

In the “Magnolia State,” Republican Gov. Tate Reeves and Jackson, Miss. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba, a Democrat, have united under an initiative called Operation Unified, which goes after drug traffickers and violent criminals in the capital city of Mississippi.

Reeves said, “Jacksonians deserve to live in peace, and they should not have to fear for their safety while running errands or commuting to work. Together with our local and federal partners, we will put a stop to it.”

Agencies participating in Operation Unified include the Jackson, Miss. police department, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

Reeves said that the three agencies would prioritize bringing the homicide rate down in Jackson, Miss.

Although Reeves did not go much into detail on how Operation Unified would work, the governor did say that the city would have more police presence.

The Associated Press reported that, “WLBT-TV, a local news station, looked at data from Jackson and other large cities to measure homicides based on population size. In January, the outlet found that even though Jackson’s homicide rate had dropped for two consecutive years, it still led the nation in killings per capita in 2023. The city of almost 150,000 recorded 118 killings last year.

“The state’s White Republican leaders and the city’s mostly Black Democratic leaders have disagreed in the past over the best way to combat crime. Reeves signed a law in 2023 to expand the territory of the Capitol Police and create a state-run court in part of Jackson with judges that are appointed rather than elected. Many Democrats have said the law is discriminatory and that more resources should be used for crime prevention.”

After the NAACP sued, a federal court upheld the law.

Despite past disagreements, Lumumba said that state and local politicians would put the past quarrels behind them to focus on what is in the best interests of residents of Jackson, Miss.

The mayor said, “I hope that as we move forward, we can pledge to the residents of Jackson that our goal will not be for them to feel policed, but to feel protected.”

Despite decreasing crime rates and bipartisanship in parts of the country, some still use the narrative of increased crime rates when campaigning for national, local and state office.

While the 1970s through the 1990s were known for increased crime rates, those rates have declined recently.

Nevertheless, the narrative of increased crime has resonated with many American voters.

Many experts blame this narrative on 24-hour cable news coverage and the popularity of social media and cell phone cameras.

As a result of access to more footage of crimes, many people falsely believe that many of those crimes have increased when they have decreased.

Some experts say that the neighborhood social media app Nextdoor contributes to the narrative because many people use the app to report crime or alleged crime such as missing packages.

However, many people do not use the app to report when they have not been victimized by a crime, such as receiving a package that they ordered.

Last month, German Lopez of The New York Times reported, “In the chaotic early months of the Covid pandemic, when the U.S. was also going through the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, violent crime rose across the country. Murders in 2020 increased at the fastest rate since the national statistics began in 1960. Other crimes, like shootings and car thefts, also increased.

“The surge in violence left some experts worried that the U.S. might be entering another era of high crime, similar to that of the 1960s through the ‘90s.

“But the data over the past year has offered a much more optimistic picture. The number of murders in U.S. cities fell by more than 12 percent—which would be the biggest decline on record. The spike that started in 2020 now looks more like a blip, and the murder rate is lower than it was during the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s. The recent data also suggests that the violent-crime rate in 2023 was near its lowest level in more than 50 years…”

In Texas’ largest city, homicide rates decreased 20 percent in 2023.

From Jan. 1 to Dec. 19, 2023, Houston saw 339 homicides.

However, during that same period in 2022, the “Bayou City” experienced 427 homicides.

Unfortunately, by October 2023, the number of Houston homicides were still higher than pre-Covid levels despite the decrease from the previous year.

At the time, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said, “I want to grab a hold of that momentum and make sure we finish strong. I want those numbers back to get back to pre-Covid.”

Finner said that a $10,000 bonus to new officers should help the city continue to decrease violent crime.

Nevertheless, crime will probably persist as a campaign issue.

Despite critics from the left-wing of the Democratic Party, President Joe Biden continues to say that defunding the police is not the answer to address crime and/or police abuse.

Defunding the police became a popular rallying cry after the deaths of many armed Black Americans over the past few years.

On the other hand, former President Donald Trump has advocated for the death penalty for drug dealers, often promoting himself as the law order president despite the dozens of criminal indictments he still faces for trying to steal the 2020 presidential election and other alleged offenses.

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