Meridian, Miss. If you see something suspicious, Meridian Police want you to say something. In an effort to curb crime inside the city, they are bringing the nationwide 311 program in as well as dividing the city into zones that officers will stay in. Chief James Lee believes that the combination of these efforts, as well as working with the City Council will bring call volume and crime down.
"They're trying to understand my concerns, and helping us put more cops on the streets. Once we get up to a valid number, I think you're going to see call volume go down, and I also think you're going to see response time go down, ideally for me, 4-5 minutes."
As opposed to Crimestoppers, which is more of a reactive program that offers rewards, and asks for information after a crime has occurred, See Something Say Something tries to take more of a proactive measure. Chief Lee asks that when you see something suspicious to use your phone, currently only land-lines, but soon also cell phones, to call 311, and that call will be transferred immediately to the front desk at the Meridian Police Station."
"When you dial 311 it goes to what's known as a "dead drop." It's a phone that goes to another phone. There's no caller ID. There's no call back service. We have no way of reporting where that call came from. We're asking that the public be specific about things when they call. What we want you to call in are things that you feel are a crime, or suspicious activity, or people getting ready to commit a crime, and give us an opportunity to look at that."
Lee encourages everyone to come to one of two seminars next week where he will further explain how the program works.
"I feel that we're all part of this team. They can expect me to make them understand that that call is not going to lead back to them. They can expect me to make them understand that I want to make our policemen responsible to the public for their safety."
The first seminar will be held Thursday, November 21st at the Boys and Girls Club. The second will be Friday, November 22nd at the Temple Theater. Both start at 5:30 PM.