Police expect crime to rise with the temperature

Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-25 20:00:03-04

Jackson Police handled 285 calls for service this past Friday through Sunday. And, Chief Deputy Elmer Hitt told Fox 47 News as the temperature continues to increase, so will those calls.

"School is out. So, we have more younger, our youth out in the community and the neighborhoods, which tends to draw calls for service," he explained.

And, with no specific crime prevention team, several officers will be working overtime.

"We'll use overtime assignments to put officers designated to certain areas to address certain problems as they come up," he said. "But, unfortunately, those are often short term resolutions, short term fixes, where we address a problem, fix it, move on."

He and Jackson County Sheriff Steve Rand blame budget cuts over the years for the lack of resources and extra officers.

The Sheriff explained, "We're finding ways to fill those roles, we're doing what we can with the money we have and I think ... by decentralizing it, we might have a better product in the long run."

The Sheriff said the community has really stepped up, especially places like the King Recreation Center, which focuses on giving kids something to do when they're not in school.

"When a child comes home and he doesn't have a parent there, he knows he can come to King Center, he can get help with his homework, he can play games, he can receive a free meal every day," explained Director John Willis.

It's a positive alternative, helping steer kids away from crime at a young age.

"So that they understand regardless of my background, if I make the right choices, if I apply myself, I can change my destiny," Willis said.

"It's a community problem, we can do only so much without their help," the Sheriff added.

Working together to make the community better and safer.

The Sheriff's Office also has School Resource Officers in 7 schools across the County. They meet every other week with detectives from other local departments. And, just like Jackson City Police, work to create strong relationships between officers and community members.