Police Academy Touches on Public Safety, New Gun Law

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Fighting crime and a new gun law were the topics of conversation during a meeting between area residents and law enforcement officers.

Officers from the Meridian Police Department addressed various concerns during Tuesday night's one-night Citizen's Police Academy at Union Station in downtown Meridian. Those in attendance received information on how to properly report crime or suspicious activity. Also, how they can keep crime from happening.

However, things did not end there. Representative Charles Young, JR. was in the audience and asked officers how they feel about Mississippi's open carry law that will allow Mississippians to openly carry a gun with or without a permit. The law, known as House Bill 2, goes into effect July 1st.

"People should have a right to carry a gun, no problem," Assistant Police Chief Buck Roberts said to the crowd. "But they should go through the background check just like folks before July first did, okay. I have a family to go home to. I want to go home to my family."

"It creates a very precarious and peculiar situation for you to try and protect and serve," Representative Young said to officers. "And not knowing whether your life is in jeopardy or not."

Officials say a permit will still be required if the weapon is concealed.