City introduces gun violence initiative

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JACKSON, MI (WILX) -- The number of shootings in Jackson is on the rise.

Jackson city council introduces gun violence initiative. (Source WILX)

On Tuesday night, city council passed a resolution to try to stop the violence.

Council members agreed to start an intervention program but Jackson residents say more needs to be done.

In 2018 there were 124 shootings that Jackson Police responded to.

That number is alarming to both residents and city leaders.

Jackson resident Craig Roney said, "It's a lot of shootings because there's a lack of opportunities. Lack of investment in the community."

Hakim Crampton said, "We don't have the necessary things that a community would need to support itself to combat such a vicious cycle that we have in terms of gun violence."

The resolution passed will start with an intervention program.

"We want to reach out to you and connect you with whatever services you may need," said Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies. "The job opportunities that you may need, wrap-around services, whatever those individuals may need and the problems that they're encountering in their lives that are leading them to that sort of violent activity."

Right now the problem is that the program is not funded.

Mayor Dobies said that the city did not set a side money for the imitative in the 2020 budget, and instead will work with community organizations to raise $180,000 for the project.

Jackson residents spoke out about the city's method of funding, calling it a mishandling of priorities.

Rosemary Tanner of Jackson said, "I was not impressed as far as the gun imitative for the gun violence because I don't know what it is."

And Crampton added, the current budget is not appropriate. There are too many investments that will not benefit the people of the city."

Mayor Dobies says similar programs have been successful in Detroit and Kalamazoo.

Council is expected to meet in the next few weeks to discuss funding options.

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