Meridian police officers gathered Thursday afternoon for their first union meeting since 1996.
Dozens of officers made their way into a closed door meeting to discuss numerous issues that have come to light within the Meridian Police Department in recent months. The police union also re-elected Lt. Dean Harper as its president.
"The issues that came up are pretty much confidential because they were held behind closed doors," Harper says. "The matter discussed will be worked on in committee and the results of those will be released at a later time."
As for when exactly these issues started, Harper wouldn't say. But multiple sources have told Newscenter 11 that the problems started after former Chief Lee Shelbourn retired this past summer and current Chief James Reed assumed the post.
Newscenter 11contacted Reed Thursday afternoon about the meeting. He said he is on personal leave until Tuesday, but he said everyone has a right to voice their concerns and he is hopeful things can be worked out.
We also reached out to Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry. She says she was not aware of the meeting, but hopes to be able to work with the officers in order to make the community a better place.
In the meantime, Harper says officers are still committed to their jobs.