Imagine Harvey Johnson Jr.’s surprise. On Tuesday, Jackson Mississippi’s mayor announced that crime in the southern city had fallen 6.7 percent year over year. Violent crime fell a whopping 27.3 percent. Good news, right? Not if you’re with The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives . . .
Just one day later, ATF special agent Constance Hester-Davis stepped up to the proverbial microphone. Due to the increase in crime in Jackson, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives decided to embed a federal agent with the Jackson Police Department. “With the spike of increase in crime in this area, we knew that something had to be done . . . ”
When reporters asked special agent Heter-Davis to repeat her justification for the action, the mayor had trouble containing himself: “Before, we were concentrating our efforts . . . all over various counties in this area, but because this is now a hotspot, we’re focusing all efforts here in Jackson.”
There’s no way to know, of course, what the ATF said to the mayor and JPD Chief Rebecca Coleman to impress upon them the need to place one of their agents in the city’s cop shop. From the ATF’s press release:
The Jackson Police Department’s Ceasefire Unit will have an ATF agent who will assist in investigating all gun related crime. The ATF’s National Integrated Ballistic Information Network Program will also be used as a vital tool to help solve violent firearms crimes through imaging the markings made on fired cartridge cases and bullets recovered from a crime scene or through a crime gun test fire.
“The plan is to send “an experienced ATF agent directly to JPD gun crime scenes.” I’m sure the agent will be warmly received by the locals. Since they’ll have all that experience and everything.
Finding crime “spikes” where crime has actually fallen is certainly a novel approach by the ATF in their ongoing efforts to expand their reach. Taking credit for preventing or solving hundreds of crimes can’t be far down the road.