Meridian, Miss. A local community activist is once again speaking out on the problem of crime in the area.
In recent years, Betty Lou Jones has taken part in the fight against crime by organizing community meetings to get a handle on things. But in a year where Meridian and Lauderdale County have seen numerous armed robberies, burglaries, and shootings, Jones says she is disappointed the crime rate is rising instead of dropping.
"It's horrible for a city and county like Meridian and Lauderdale County to live in fear of robberies and being invaded in their own homes while they're there and while they're not there," Jones feels.
Drug abuse is a big concern for Jones and she feels that is partly to blame for the crime problem. She says finding productive activites for youth in the city and county is also crucial.
"And we must punish them," Jones stresses. "And they must understand that everyone has to abide by the authority of our land. Not just one person, but everyone. And when they do not abide by that, then there are consequences."
She says the key to rebuilding a safe and orderly society is to realize it is centered around the basic unit of family. A responsibility that families, churches, and organizations must be willing to take on.
"So that this can stop," she says. "We can stop this vicious, vicious cycle that hurts everyone."
Jones helped organize the group Proactively Protecting Our People and Property.