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Over nearly nine months, a surge of killings in the Capital City has propelled the city on a course that could make 2020 the deadliest year in history,

JACKSON, Miss. (Ben Caxton) – Over nearly nine months, a surge of killings in the Capital City has propelled the city on a course that could make 2020 the deadliest year in history, according to an analysis of data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and individual reports from the Jackson Police Department.

At the same time, the number of active duty officers patrolling a beat keeps dropping despite recruit classes that bring more patrolmen into the fold.

As of Thursday, Jackson had 75 homicides thus far in 2020, a 23 percent increase over the same period last year.

Shootings that result in injury or death, which 3 On Your Side keeps track of through individual JPD reports, are also up 20 percent over 2019, an indicator of gun violence in the city.

Last April, a 3 On Your Side investigation explored what many called a “critical shortage” of manpower within the department, with internal documents showing JPD had 173 active duty officers, and a minimum of 264 patrol officers “are essential to sustain an effective day-to-day operation in each precinct.”

City Council President Aaron Banks said JPD now has 155 active duty patrolmen, a loss of 18 officers over sixteen months.

Perhaps more surprising: the department also graduated a recruit class during that time, which added more members of the rank-and-file.

“In a capital city like Jackson, you should never be able to ride from Terry Road all the way to West County Line Road in north Jackson and not see an officer,” Banks said. “You should see at least six just on that route. That has to change.”

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