Meridian Crime Initiative Announced

Meridian, Miss. Meridian's police chief is looking to a new program to help stem the tide of recent crime. Police Chief James Lee laid out some details about it to Meridian City Council members Tuesday.

The new initiative is called 'See Something - Say Something'. The purpose is to curb crime in Meridian with more help from the community.

According to city leaders, a major factor that hinders some residents from reporting crimes is fear of retaliation.

"They won't call because they don't want the officer coming to their house," said Ward 4 councilwoman, Kim Houston.

According to Chief Lee, as part of 'See Something - Say Something', officers will not go to the caller's house.

"There is no call back number. There is no dial back," said Lee. "We're not going to call them back; this is simply an information highway and you tell us what you see."

Unlike 911 calls which are recorded and tracked, Lee describes the phone line for the new initiative simply as a one way information highway because, when called, there will be no way for anyone to track the caller's identity or location. Instead, he says the only thing that authorities want to know is the crime fighting information.

"So the citizenry should not be worried about retaliation because we're not going to know who called, and we can't tell anybody else who called." Lee said.

"We still need for the community to reach out to us so that we can help do the things that we need to do to help the police department to solve a lot of these crimes, and to be more proactive instead of reactive," said Mayor Percy Bland.

According to Chief Lee, he and the mayor are currently working with the phone company to establish the new 'See Something - Say Something' hotline. If all goes as planned, he says that line will be ready for use in the very near future.