Democratic candidate Percy Bland will face opponent Rod Amos in the primary election on Tuesday, May 7th.
He's no stranger to the political scene in Meridian. Four years ago, he lost the mayoral race by only 300 votes to current mayor Cheri Barry. But now, Percy Bland is giving it another try and says crime will obviously be the biggest concern he is faced with if elected. He tells Newscenter 11 he'll start with the police department.
"I want there to be a stronger relationship and more outreach from the police department to the citizens," Bland explains. "So that we can build up the trust, so that there can be true trust in the community, so we can help solve some of our crime issues a lot better."
Bland tells us another way he plans to deal with the crime issue is by adding street lighting to some of the areas of the city that aren't well lit. He also wants MPD officers to have better technology to help with fighting crime. Of course, a permanent police chief is needed.
"I want someone who has the experience and knowledge of training officers, leading a department," Bland says. "And also taking us in a direction with our police department, so that our officers know their job."
Bland says he realizes crime has been a concern of many residents for years now and says any changes that need to be made to help in the fight against crime, will be made within his first 90 days in office.
Mayor Cheri Barry will appear on On the Record with John Johnson on Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. William Bond Compton, Jr. will appear on Sunday, April 21st at 5:30 p.m.