Create a Website Account - Manage notification subscriptions, save form progress and more.
View All Posts
Posted on August 22, 2023 at 4:54 PM by Darren Musselwhite
I don’t expect my citizens to understand the amount of information that I process, worry that I experience, and burden that I carry daily as mayor of the city that I love the most. I knew this city in her early years and have witnessed the tremendous success story of Southaven as both a citizen and as the one trusted with the utmost responsibility for the last ten years. Southaven was a great small town and is still a great, much-larger city. With success and growth comes new challenges and even more so in the dynamic world we live in today. Along with our Board of Aldermen and my staff, we must keep our finger on the pulse of this city and be prepared for change. For those who don’t know me personally, let me tell you that I take my job more seriously than anyone you’ve ever met. I not only study this city and our challenges, but I obsess about it and know our operations and challenges better than anyone. I should, because this is my job and obligation to you.
Crime has changed in America, Mississippi, Desoto County, and Southaven. This is a complicated, multifactorial issue brought about by societal changes and not just confined to any one geographical area. When I hear people say they are going to move to get away from crime, in my mind I’m asking…where? Facts are that things have changed everywhere. While much of this is outside of my purview, I must deal with the impacts to Southaven. We are not immune to these societal changes and the younger generation of emboldened criminals. Also, while all of our crime certainly does not come from just there, we must remain conscious of Memphis spillover crime. This challenge did not start recently as our Police have been successfully controlling crime for decades within spitting distance to one of the most dangerous cities in America. I’ve also shouldered this responsibility for the last ten years and have seen the details up close. Even though we have tremendous new challenges, our Police have done an incredible job controlling spillover crime. However, in my role, I must study the trends and prepare for what lies ahead, along with my team. Things have changed. I mean no disrespect to Memphis, but cannot ignore the impact that weak prosecutorial and judicial decisions as well as law enforcement restrictions will have on the suburban cities. I will not remain quiet and allow these outside factors to hurt Southaven. This is a pivotal time for our city.
During the last ten years, I’ve advocated for changes in Southaven to make a great city even better. Along with our Board, I’ve brought new developments and amenities to our city that we’ve never had before. The demand in our city to live, work, do business, and enjoy recreation has never been higher. When you create a city where people want to be, it creates a great tourism draw. 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. This is the purpose of my message today to any and all…
WE WELCOME YOU 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.
“Operation: Close the Door” will be implemented in Southaven, Mississippi. It’s critical for the future of our city. We’ve increased Police funding from $11,443,851 in 2014 to projected $19,367,256 in 2024 (69.24% increase) and Police Officer growth 36% in just the last four years. 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.
As your Mayor, you have my promise that I will stand with everything I’ve got with our Police, and together, we will protect the future of Southaven!