As Nikki Wallace and a friend walked along the sidewalk by The Clarion-Ledger building at 6 o'clock on the eve of the Fourth of July, she experienced fear that is a familiar part of the walk to her car after getting off of work in downtown Jackson. Someone was approaching from behind, and she could not see who it was, nor did she know whether the person meant her ill or simply intended to pass her by.
"I hope he's a good person," she thought to herself.
Wallace considered clutching her purse to her side, fearful the stranger might snatch it. "I don't want to offend them, though," she thought. Instead, she found a reason to acknowledge and look back at the stranger.
"I'm sorry if we're in your way," Wallace said, as she moved into a single file behind the male co-worker who was walking alongside her.
That's when I introduced myself.
"I'm a reporter for the Jackson Free Press," I told the pair. "I'm looking to talk to voters about the issues they care about in the upcoming statewide and local Jackson elections this year."
Wallace, relieved, quickly volunteered her own thoughts—starting with her concerns about violence and robbery in the city. In her north Jackson neighborhood, she often hears of homes and corner stores getting broken into and robbed, she said.
This year, Hinds County residents will elect a sheriff and a district attorney. To earn her vote, Wallace hopes those candidates will take a serious look at ways to reduce crime.
"I'm trying to keep faith here and spend money here, but they've got to do better," Wallace said.
Clinton resident Venetia Miller also told the Jackson Free Press that she would like to see more done to prevent crime in Hinds County, and she hopes candidates will consider more and better paid police officers