Councilman to propose ordinance requiring security at convenience stores

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Councilman Kenneth Stokes wants to put more pressure on convenience store owners in the capital city.

A recent shooting has prompted him to draw up a new ordinance.

“What we’re trying to do now is make sure we can stop this thing from escalating where others see some of these convenience stores as soft targets,” Stokes said.

A store clerk came face to face with what police call a high caliber assault rifle during a Tuesday evening robbery.

Now Stokes is drawing the line.

He’s proposing an ordinance at this week’s council meeting that he hopes will cut down on late night crime at convenience stores.

“Convenience stores are similar to banks, especially in the poorer neighborhoods. Most banks you see are going to have a security guard,” Stokes said.

The ordinance would require all convenience stores open from midnight to 6:00 a.m. to have a trained security guard.

“Someone goes to rob one of these convenience stores with a street sweeper or assault rifles, nine times out of ten they’re going to take the position that we’re not going to leave any witnesses,” Stokes said.

The shots were so powerful in Tuesday’s shooting that they penetrated the bulletproof glass.

Police say that glass may have saved his life.

But, Stokes says that’s not enough, “The store owners say they don’t make enough money. They want more police. Well the police department numbers have gone down…and we just cannot babysit convenience stores.”

If the ordinance gets a majority vote, it would go into effect immediately. But, it would only last 30 days. Afterwards, he hopes to have a permanent plan.

The next city council meeting is Tuesday, October 18, 2016.

Stokes say he’s not sure if he even has someone to second the vote right now.

WJTV will continue to follow this story with updates.


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