For three years running, Jackson, Mississippi has been the setting of 100 or more homicides each year. So on Friday, Governor Tate Reeves (R) signed a suite of public safety bills (House Bill 1020, Senate Bill 2343, House Bill 795, and Senate Bill 2101) to expand the area controlled by the state's Capitol Police.
"This is not uncommon that in the state capital there will be a concurrent type of policing presence with the city police department," responds Lt. Randy Sutton of The Wounded Blue.
What is different is that one of the bills will create a separate court where offenses committed in the newly enlarged district will be tried. The court will have the same power as municipal courts, which handle misdemeanor cases, traffic violations, and initial appearances for some criminal charges.
"In essence, they're creating a second court system within the city of Jackson just for offenses that occur on state property," Sutton explains.
But as 83% of the city's 150,000 residents are black Democrats, and the state is controlled by a mostly white, Republican legislature, some say the new laws are racist. The NAACP has filed a lawsuit to have them repealed, arguing that the creation of a separate court system is unequal protection under the law.
Sutton, however, thinks the legislation is necessary because Jackson has Soros-funded prosecutors who have gone soft on crime, which has made Mississippi's capital unsafe for everyone.
"The crimes that are occurring within the state capitol jurisdiction are not being prosecuted in a way that the state lawmakers feel is correct," the retired officer relays.
He agrees with supporters who believe giving the Capitol Police a bigger footprint will help with the crime problem.