COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - At this time last year, there were nine homicide cases in the Friendly City but as we reach the end of 2017, there is just one.
This year’s homicide was on Thanksgiving Day. Last week, Undra Williams Jr. was arrested, booked into jail and his was bond denied. District Attorney Scott Colom says several groups work to keep the number low.
“The city council, mayor and district attorney’s office worked to do what we could to pre-empt the murders any way we can,” Colom said.
Chief Oscar Lewis declined an on-camera interview but he says one homicide is too many and that the family and friends of Cordell Lewis are still grieving so he doesn’t want to celebrate this year’s number. Colom agrees the number should be zero but he credits police.
“I think police focused on the right individuals and got good charges on those individuals that resulted in some strong arrests,” Colom said.
The department also added more officers at one time this year than ever before. Also new this year, there’s a city-county drug task force.
“Staring the joint narcotics task force made a difference,” Colom said. “It got more police on the street.”
Colom couldn’t speak yet to the overall violent crime rate and whether or not it is higher or lower than previous years.
Several police and city leaders declined interviews.