MPD Calls News Conference about Crime

Meridian, Miss. Meridian Police Chief James Lee says the Meridian Police Department is moving to a zero-tolerance platform.

In a Thursday news conference, Lee said the MPD is amping up its efforts to fight crime. He said all officers will now be working 12-hour shifts until the violence ends.

"We've got some people that think they can do whatever they want to do," said Lee. "I intend to change that mindset."

The chief said most of these police officers will be seeing overtime, in an effort to better saturate the city.

Lee says a large portion of this crime is stemming from juveniles who are involved with gangs and drugs.

"This crime is being perpetrated by people that are in alleged gangs and drugs," said Lee. "That's what we're faced with here. But it is a small area and a small population of people that for some reason think that they can take over this great city. We will not allow it."

Mayor Percy Bland says the city will provide the police department with the resources it needs to support this zero-tolerance platform.

"We're going to provide the necessary resources, manpower and tactical teams to deal with these issues," Bland said. "We're going to continue to give him, his men and his system, time to work."

Because the MPD believes so much of this crime stems from the youth, the mayor and chief are looking at updating and more strongly enforcing the curfew law that is already in effect.

Chief Lee says this zero-tolerance platform starts immediately and will not stop until the violence ends.