Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite took to his official blog to talk about crime, the threat of crime coming from north of the border, and what the city plans to do in the fight against crime.
In his Mayor’s Report blog post, Musselwhite said the city has begun what he calls “Operation: Close the Door,” a program that includes increased funding for the police department and the growth of the police force over the past four years.
“We’ve increased police funding from $11,443,851 in 2014 to a projected $19,367,256 in 2024 (69.24 percent increase) and police officer growth by 36 percent in just the last four years,” Musselwhite wrote. “We will make data-driven decisions and allocate new resources to our Stateline Enforcement Team to secure the north-south arterial entrances to our city.”
Musselwhite said the growth Southaven and DeSoto County has had over the past 10 years has attracted many residents and businesses to locate in the city and county. But with growth comes a growth in criminal activity, which must be contained.
“When you create a city where people want to be, it creates a great tourism draw,” Musselwhite wrote. “This is good for our city financially and we welcome our visitors from wherever they may come. With this being said, whenever you become a large attraction, statistics prove that you naturally will attract some who bring criminal intentions.”
The mayor stated that not all of the crime in Southaven comes from Memphis, but added the current lack of action toward stemming crime in one of the nation’s most dangerous cities just next door means his city must take preventive steps to protect itself from the spillover.
“I mean no disrespect to Memphis, but I cannot ignore the impact that their weak prosecutorial and judicial decisions as well as law enforcement restrictions will have on the suburban cities,” Musselwhite pointed out. “I will not remain quiet and allow these outside factors to hurt Southaven. This is a pivotal time for our city.”
With that, Musselwhite said he welcomes all to Southaven and “our door is always open to you. But if you choose to do us harm by committing crimes and then running, we will ‘close the door’ behind you and be there waiting for you,” hence the name “Operation: Close the Door.”
You can read all of the mayor’s comments with his Mayor’s Report post on the City of Southaven website.