Assistant Police Chief James Sharpe is now the face of the Meridian Police Department.
This comes after former Police Chief James Reed suddenly resigned last Monday, following our story about Reed not being a certified law enforcement officer in the State of Mississippi. That same day, Mayor Barry appointed James Sharpe as the city's acting police chief.
"I'm very pleased with his ability," Mayor Barry says. "I'm very pleased with his leadership skills. He has already surrounded himself with all of his officers and has a plan of action to reduce the crime in this community. And you're going to see Meridian move forward as we always have."
As for what exactly Sharpe's plan of action is, Barry says it's just too early to say. One plan that was implemented in December was adding extra officers on the streets in an effort to cut down on the number of shootings and armed robberies.
"Well, he is working out several different special operations that have been in place," Barry adds. "And that's why that I can honestly say that our crime numbers are down for the month of January."
Sharpe's appointment also comes just days after the mayor hosted a teen summit on crime. Hundreds of local teens made their way to city hall to hear from city and county leaders about way they can avoid getting in trouble with the law.