Apartment residents push for private security firm following violent crime

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Tuesday evening, a Starkville teenager was arrested for holding two people at gunpoint at Starkville’s Brookville Garden Apartments.

Just last month, a person was injured in a shooting at the complex.

These incidents have residents asking if there’s something more that can be done.

Jaquiores Boyd, 14, is being tried as an adult for holding two people at gunpoint at Brookfield Garden Apartments Tuesday evening.

“This is our second incident in recent months at the apartment complex in Brookfield Gardens,” said Starkville Police Chief, Frank Nichols.

In the last year, two separate shootings have taken place, one of them fatal in August of 2017.

The low income housing is privately owned, and its owners are based out of Chicago.

Nichols told us coincidentally one of the owners recently came to look at the property.

“He came up a couple of weeks ago, and we spoke about what we can do about the incidents that are occurring over in Brookfield Gardens,” Nichols said. “One of the things we talked about that has been done in the past is them hiring a private security firm.”

Nichols said this was once done in the mid-90’s, and the constant presence of security deterred violent crimes.

“Anything that would happen, they would call us, and they would be an eyewitness for us,” the Chief recollected.

Now, there are only police patrols and surveillance cameras but no on-site presence.

Starkville Police once had a substation in the complex.

It’s no longer there, relocated to a location along Alfred Perkins Street, and even that building isn’t filled on a regular basis.

“We don’t have the manpower to just stay over in that area. We do respond over there, and we patrol over there regularly. But of course they’re not going to do anything in front of the police,” Nichols said.

Nichols has yet to hear back from the owner of the apartments, but said he recommended several security agencies to him.

The owners of Brookville Garden also have a property in Jackson that experienced the same problems, and a private security company was hired.

The result was a lower amount of violent crimes.

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