Warren County Justice Court Judge Bradford reprimanded

The Vicksburg Post reported Wednesday that the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance has recommended that Warren County Justice Court Judge Richard Bradford III be fined, publicly reprimanded, and suspended for 30 days without pay. Bradford is accused of several different improprieties involving cases coming before him. The Supreme Court will make a final decision in the matter. The Post’s article may be read here:

http://www.vicksburgpost.com/articles/2008/12/10/news/doc494001dfad0a2774999677.txt

Published in: on December 12, 2008 at 10:40 am  Leave a Comment  

Davenport trial ends in mistrial

The jury could not reach a verdict in the trial of Dane Davenport, the Mississippi Highway Patrolman accused of molesting two boys. A new trial is planned.

Published in: on September 18, 2008 at 3:22 pm  Comments (97)  

Vicksburg is a safe place to live?

VS received this email from a lady in Illinois today:

Please understand that I do want to offend anyone. I would like to know how safe Vicksburg really is? My husband and I are both white and we are being transferred to Vicksburg. We would like to stay at a campground in the area. After reading about the racial tension in  Vicksburg on the Internet I am scared to death to leave the small town in IL that I am from.
Sincerely, IL Country Girl

Vicksburg Speaks responded with reassurance that Vicksburg is as safe a place to live as most other small towns, and that the races here generally get along well together. We do have occasional “tensions,” but racial bias, and certainly violence related to racial differences, is relatively rare. Can you add your views?

Crime in Vicksburg – out of control?

Counting the unborn child of one of the victims, there have been seven homicides in Vicksburg this year to date – a number that matches the total for the entire last year. Guns have been the weapon of choice, with a knife used in one of the murders. One has only to read the crime section of the Vicksburg Post each day to confirm that theft, rape, domestic violence, and other crimes number into the hundreds (and many are unreported in the Post). Has the undermanned Vicksburg Police Department lost control? Can the Warren County Sheriff’s Department be called upon for help? Would a merging of the two law enforcement agencies produce a body more competent to stem the rising rate of crime? What else can be done? Your suggestions are welcomed.

Published in: on June 28, 2008 at 10:59 am  Comments (30)  

Vicksburg’s issues and challenges

We face many in the years to come. But progress has been and is being made in our city and county. From your viewpoint, what are our greatest accomplishments? What are our biggest challenges? What improvements in city/county government would you recommend? Higher/lower taxes? Timely notification of changes in property tax? Bigger/smaller government? More/less regulations? Code changes? Subsidies to lower fuel costs? More bond issues for further capital improvements? More/fewer casinos? Inventory tax elimination? Merging of additional city/county functions? Changes in law enforcement, including merging city police with sheriff’s department? Full staffing of the VPD? More emphasis on recycling? Changes to our public school system? More attention to illegal immigration? A new movie house? Better reporting of crimes and more attention to their prevention? More mass transit (rail)? Additional recreational facilities? More variety in our restaurants? Jail all the lawyers? Legalize marijuana? Mufflers for the horns on KCS’ trains? Impoundment of any vehicle rattling to the beat of boom-boom rap and other vulgar “music?” Make permanent the downtown post office? Bigger flower beds in Washington Street? More/less trees/plants/other esthetics?

“Click It or Ticket” campaign – how do you feel about it?

The Mississippi Highway Patrol, The Vicksburg Police Department, and other cities across Mississippi have embarked upon a “Click It or Ticket” campaign designed to ensure that drivers and their passengers are wearing seat belts. They apparently feel that the threat of a warrant will have a positive enforcement effect. Is the effort a worthy one, or merely an easy way to rack up citations? Should our law enforcement agencies be spending their time on more worthwhile endeavors? Is the seat belt law an infringement upon our liberties? Does the law save lives? How would you react to being given such a citation that might  cost you a hundred dollars or more?

Published in: on May 24, 2008 at 10:37 am  Comments (6)  

Crime: are we making headway?

With a new DA who vows to send criminals to jail, and a chief of police who claims the force is growing in numbers, the crime rate in Vicksburg should be measureably reduced. A glance at the lengthy “Crime, Fire, and Accident” section of the Vicksburg Post might tempt one to form a different conclusion. What’s your opinion of the situation in Vicksburg? Are you safer on the streets, in your car, or in the parking lots at the malls?

Published in: on April 16, 2008 at 8:48 am  Leave a Comment  

The Trevillion brothers are in the news again

The four Trevillion brothers and one other man are due to stand trial for a murder that occurred last June 17. Two of the brothers were indicted for murder 12 years ago, for which they served aggravated assault charges. DA Ricky Smith will prosecute the five, while Attorney Jerry Campbell will defend them.

Published in: on April 16, 2008 at 8:24 am  Leave a Comment  

DA Ricky Smith’s first case

35 years in prison for the man whose shots threatened a child. That’s the result of our new DA’s first Warren County trial. What’s your reaction to that case, and to the DA’s performance in general to date?

Published in: on April 12, 2008 at 7:40 am  Comments (1)  

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

What is your opinion of illegal immigration? What are the solutions to the problems it has created? Should there be an amnesty program? Should they all be sent back to the country of their origin? Are they taking jobs that our welfare recipients ought to be filling?

Another “F” for Chief Moffett

Friday’s Vicksburg Post featured a story wherein it was stated that the VPD needs two weeks to furnish individuals with reports of vehicle accidents. These are required before insurance companies can process claims. Chief Moffett blames new technology, the ReportBeam automated system required by the state. Moffett has refused to use the system for the past two years. Only when state grants were threatened did he have his officers begin reporting through the computerized system. Now, according to him, reports are not available for “several days.” Sheriff Martin Pace, however, has been using the system since its inception, and claims it is very efficient; claims reports are available the day after an accident. What about it, Chief? Why can’t your folks be as efficient as Sheriff Pace’s?

Published in: on February 2, 2008 at 9:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Revised petition – combine VPD and sheriff’s dept.

Based on input from you, following is a revised petition that asks our leaders to combine the two local law enforcement agencies. Please submit any further recommendations for revision.

Again, the decision as to whether or not to go forward with the petition will be based on your interest, your input, and your recommendations, and will require your efforts for implementation.

 

We, the undersigned residents of Warren County, Mississippi, request that our city and county leaders cooperate in discussions that will lead to consolidation of the Vicksburg Police Department and the Warren County Sheriff’s Department. We feel that the city and county’s ability to enforce the laws may be improved, and that overall cost of operations may be reduced. We further recommend that the Warren County sheriff, being the elected official, be placed in charge of the combined force.

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Vicksburg crime: Is it worsening?

Thursday’s Vicksburg Post carried a front page story regarding a Vicksburg woman who has reported the theft and vandalism of her rental property four or more times in the past year. The police have been unable to prevent it, or to capture those responsible. This may be a front-page story today, but it is nothing new. There are literally hundreds of instances of thefts, purse-snatchings, car-jackings, drug raids, bad-checks, embezzlements, rapes, murders, etc., that are reported within the Post’s pages every year. Many other incidents never make the Post. Probably not since Vicksburg was overrun by thieves and murderers in 1863 have the citizens of this city been more afraid to leave their homes.

 

Why can’t we, the citizens of Vicksburg, pick up our daily Post and read of new parks and playgrounds, civility and philanthropy, love and kindness, rather than of the latest outrages against the populace?

 

Lack of law enforcement, poverty, broken homes, gangs, and more can be blamed for the depressing headlines and crime reports. More importantly, we should ask ourselves this: What can we, as individual citizens, do to make Vicksburg a safer place to live?

Published in: on January 10, 2008 at 6:27 pm  Comments (12)  

Is it time for Chief Moffett to go?

The VPD’s announcement that five of its officers resigned in December may be another indication of the disarray and discontent that seems to have plagued the department for the past several years. Already undermanned, the department may now be seriously compromised in its ability to protect the citizens of Vicksburg. Other factors may be cited for the force’s inability to retain or hire officers (61 of 87 positions filled), but the buck stops squarely at the desk of Chief of Police Tommy Moffett, who has been severely criticized (and defended) in this forum. Perhaps the time has come for the chief to resign to allow a more competent officer to take command. The Asst. Chief, O’Bannon, might be considered, but O’Bannon’s record of sexual harassments and other factors would probably disqualify him from consideration.

 

Perhaps now is the opportune time to combine the VPD and the sheriff’s department into a “metropolitan police force” under command of Sheriff Martin Pace.

 

What do you think?

Comments needed – combine sheriff’s dept. & VPD?

Would the citizens of Vicksburg respond to a petition whose aim is to combine the two law enforcement entities? Several readers have suggested that in order to answer that question, a trial run be instituted. To that end, a preliminary petition follows. Please let us have your comments and recommendations not only as to format, but as to whether or not the petition is a worthwhile effort. Only if your response is both significant and positive will a serious effort be attempted city-wide.

 

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We, the undersigned residents of Vicksburg, Mississippi, are dissatisfied with the caliber of law enforcement provided to the citizens of the City of Vicksburg. We feel that enforcement of our laws will be enhanced if the Warren County Sheriff’s Department and the Vicksburg Police Department are combined, and Sheriff Martin Pace is placed in charge of the combined force. We request that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, and the Warren County Board of Supervisors, proceed to develop and implement a plan to achieve that end.

 

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