By Amy McCullough
* UPDATE — Feb. 8, 12:15 p.m. — Jackson Police detectives just showed up at our office to collect prints from yesterday’s break-in. Would have been nice if they had shown up yesterday, before we all disinfected our desks and the prints were still here.
The state of Mississippi needs to take downtown Jackson under conservatorship and declare it the District of Magnolia.
That way Jackson’s business community and state buildings could stay downtown and might actually have a shot at decent police protection, sound water infrastructure, etc.
For the second time, for the second week in a row, Mississippi Business Journal employees arrived at work this morning to find that their office at 200 North Congress St. had been broken into, most likely by a homeless guy named Willie who has mental problems and makes a hobby of vandalizing downtown businesses.
Have a snack in your desk? It’s been half eaten. The rest of it has been deposited on your co-worker’s desk. The locks have been pried off desk drawers. Contents has been dumped out in the floor. Random items have been redistributed throughout the office.
Few things are stolen. The guy’s mostly after food. But needless to say, it’s annoying, disturbing and it costs money.
Jackson’s tax base has been eroding for quite some time. You’d think city government would get a clue: Nobody wants to live in a place that’s not safe. And when people leave because they don’t feel safe, you have less money. And less money makes it harder to afford personnel to keep a place safe. It’s a compounding problem.
Of course, incompetency and in-fighting don’t really help anything either.
Fortunately, sub-freezing temperatures haven’t caused pipes to burst and another Jackson Water Crisis to occur like it did in both January and February 2010. The MBJ temporarily moved it’s headquarter to Madison’s Hilton Garden Inn so we could get the paper out. They had ample amounts of water that was both drinkable and flushable. Businesses, unlike the state Legislature, can’t just close shop when it’s inconvenient.
But now we have a new problem for 2011: The Jackson Homeless Person Break-in Crisis!
We’re two-for-two. Let’s hope there’s not a third.
(And let’s hope Securitas can find an employee who won’t be found asleep in his car when he’s supposed to be monitoring our building, like their guy was this morning.)