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COLUMBUS, MISS. (Press Release) – From Mayor Robert Smith:

“The news of the incident in downtown Columbus early Sunday morning concerns me as it does all of us that live and work and visit our city. As elected officials, public safety is the most important responsibility we have. Because of this, I want to share with you specific steps we are taking regarding this incident. First, since the Princess Theatre reopened as a club, it has become a gathering place that has attracted trouble with increased regularity to the downtown area. This will stop. These incidents are a danger to the public and I will be meeting Monday with our legal and enforcement officials to implement all measures available to us with the goal of stopping such incidents in the future in downtown Columbus. Our downtown area continues to grow with developers improving buildings and apartments to attract even more growth. We will not let the actions of a few deter our city and this work. Second, the Columbus Police Department will be increasing patrols in the downtown area, particularly during times and days when we have historically had issues. Officers will also be out of their cars in these areas on foot patrol to increase their presence. Third, we will be working with Columbus Light and Water and Main Street Columbus organization to make sure we have adequate lighting and install new lighting fixtures as needed to increase safety. And fourth, we will install the latest high-tech pole cameras with Columbus Light and Water to monitor these areas 24-hours-a-day, just as we do now with other locations in Columbus. I will not let the reckless actions of a few individuals go unchecked and without consequences. Our investigators from the Columbus Police Department are working the incident last night with the goal to find those responsible and bring them to justice.”

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