Neighborhood Watch Organizer Al Willis is just one of many area residents fired up about the recent crime in Meridian. Dozens filled the Meridian Activity Center on Saturday morning to find out what they can do to help, and how to protect themselves. One concerned citizen, Willie Grady, is most concerned about the city's young people.
"The fact that we have gangs here and we need to address that. We need to note that they are not going to win."
Grady says that he thinks they made a lot of progress at this meeting, and hopes the conversation won't stop here.
"Everybody is saying something constructive that we can take back to our own communities and try to implement it."
Mayor Cheri Barry believes neighborhoods need to come together to rekindle a sense of community.
"This is about neighbors taking care of neighbors and one community taking care of one community. We are all in this together. The mayor and my staff and my police department is ready to protect and serve this community."
Meridian Police Chief James Reed says that while they don't plan on making any major changes to current procedure, they are using the intelligence citizens have provided them with and all of their resources to concentrate on certain parts of town.
"We know that there is a crime problem on the East side of town. We will utilize our DART Team. We will be utilizing our dog team as well as our reservists to help during the peak season between Thanksgiving and Christmas."