Recent Shootings Prompt City Leaders To Implement New Safety Measures

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- It’s been a busy two weeks for the Columbus Police Department.

Blue lights and crime tape have become familiar sights in the city as officers have responded to a total of four shootings in the past two weeks.

“Gun violence is not the answer,” said Columbus Mayor Robert Smith. “If you’re looking for trouble, I can assure you you’re going to find trouble.”

Mayor Smith described the shootings as “senseless” and said they could’ve been avoided.

“I encourage all of our youth to lay your guns down,” the mayor said. “If you’re in possession of a gun or carrying a gun and you have a dispute, your first reaction is going to be to use that handgun.”

Smith said the solution to the problem starts at home.

“I would encourage the parents to get more active and involved with their kids to see whether or not they have handguns,” said Smith. “If they do have handguns, then they need to start at home as far as encouraging their kids from the standpoint that hey, violence is not the answer.”

After the death of 16-year-old Arykah White outside of the Propst Park Activity Center, city leaders have implemented new security measures at all city owned buildings.

Those changes include, changing the closing time from midnight to 10 P.M., increasing the lighting outside the venues, installing security cameras inside and outside of the buildings, and requiring the lessee to hire a certified security guard for their event.

Smith said police will have more boots on the ground in the high crime areas as another way to deter the crime.

“Anytime as mayor you hear of a death of someone who is just a bystander, it’s senseless,” Smith expressed.

Along with implementing new measures, and more involvement from parents and community members, the mayor said there is another way to help the Friendly City live up to its name.

“I hope that in the future that our adults and our youth will take heed and try to do a better job of respecting each other and communicating with each other,” said Mayor Smith.

Of the four shootings, one was fatal.

The victims in the other shootings were taken to the hospital, and at last check all were recovering.

Arrests have been made in three of the shootings.

If you have any information on any of these incidents, you’re asked to contact the Columbus Police Department.


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