Meridian, Miss. The words "Stop the Violence" were heard through the streets of Meridian, as hundreds of residents came together to rally for the violence to stop. Over the past few months, the city of Meridian has been inundated with crime and community leaders and residents say it's time to come together as one to work towards a solution.
"Unity, togetherness, oneness, we need more of that," said city of Meridian Mayor Percy Bland. "We need to continue action in our neighborhoods and our community. City officials and personnel within the police department, we can only do so much. It takes community efforts and that's what hopefully today will bring."
As speakers from around the community spoke to the crowd, the message was clear to many. It's time to bridge the gap between the community and city officials. One group who spoke to the crowd, says the problem with the city lies within the men of the community.
"It takes a man to teach a man how to be a man, said Director of Men for Change Stevie Mosely. "We truly believe that if men would become more active in our community then we would be able to stop some of the crime in Meridian, Mississippi."
Several guest speakers in attendance were pleased with the results of the community coming together as one and many say now that the problem has been addressed, it's time for a solution.
"I think that the city is going to really come together after this," said 105.7 The Beat DJ Jigga JT. "As far as the concerned citizens, we want the city to be a better place, whether you are from the north, south, east, or the west side. We want to be a better city of Meridian."
The mayor and city officials say now is the time for change to occur and residents will soon see those implemented over the coming weeks.
"We're going start having more meetings, we're going to start going out to the community, and we're going to start organizing even more neighborhood watches," said Mayor Bland. "Those people who are leaders of those groups, we're going to give the ability to reach out to our personnel within Meridian Police Department, so that we can be quicker on the ground to deal with some of the problems in our communities."
The "Stop the Violence" rally was sponsored by The Radio People.