As violent crime rose in some cities, this Mississippi community saw decreases in homicides, shootings, robberies

Published 6:25 am Sunday, January 8, 2023

As the number of violent crimes increased in other Mississippi cities, the leader of one Mississippi community recently credited proactive policing and traffic stops to the overall decrease in crime in his community.

Picayune Police Chief Joe Quave provided a review of the amount of crime in the south Mississippi town.

In reference to calls responding to violent crime, Quave said there was a decrease in homicides — 0 in 2022 compared to 2 in 2021, a decrease in shootings — 2 in 2022 to 8 in 2021 and a decrease in robberies  — 2 in 2022 to 5 in 2021.

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Quaves sais the department responded to fewer calls in 2022.

“We responded to 17,898 calls for service in 2022 compared to 18,068 in 2021,” Quave said. “The areas that saw major differences were increased direct patrols (128), a decrease in domestic calls (107), a decrease in neighborhood complaints (109), and a decrease in vehicle accidents (136). There was a slight increase in auto burglaries (13) compared to the previous year but a decrease in auto thefts (28).”

While reports went down, the number of arrests did increase, thanks to the establishment of a Neighborhood Enhancement Team, Quave said. Picayune Police Officers made 742 arrests in 2022 compared to 429 in 2021. The community saw an increase in Warrant Arrests (84), Drug Arrests (42), and DUI Arrests (36), Quave reported.

“Proactive policing and increased traffic stops compared to 2022 to 2021 contributed to the increase in all three areas,” Quave said.

Quave said he highly encourages the public to report any type of suspicious activity.

“Often people dismiss it or don’t want to bother us, but we can usually deter crime or solve it by responding to those type of calls and identifying individuals,” Quave said. “To prevent being a victim of an auto burglary we suggest keeping valuables out of sight and locking your vehicle. Suspects usually check for unlocked vehicles and locking it is a deterrent.”

Quave said he has a few goals set for 2023, including sending more officers to specialized training such as accident reconstruction, reestablishing the Police Explorer program, starting a Citizens Police Academy in the spring and continuing community events from 2022 such as Layups at the Link, National Night Out and Coffee with a Cop.

“We are also maintaining state accreditation and are currently in the self-assessment phase of national accreditation,” Quave said. “Our team of officers are committed to making Picayune safe and serving this city. We can’t do it without support from our community and consider the relationships that we have extremely important. We will continue to look for ways to engage in 2023 and look forward to another year of serving this community.”