Crime Fighting Initiative

The Meridian Police Department is launching a new DART initiative. The Direct Action Response Team will consist of five members. The group will target high crime areas.

'Our lieutenants and sergeants who are commander of each shift will notify us of problem areas where we're having the most burglaries, gunfire, the most armed robberies and that type of thing,' says MPD Chief Lee Shelbourn.'These five people will focus on that. We'll saturate those areas and try to take the guns off the streets.'

Chief Shelbourn says the DART team will replace the NET team, which was also funding by a federal grant. Although funding for that grant has ended, he says his department's commitment to community policing has not.

'What we have done is we've tried to integrate with our entire patrol to be more community friendly. So, we're asking all of our officers now to get out and talk to people to get to know who lives where and what's going on in their neighborhood.'

Headed by Assistant Chief James Sharpe, Chief Shelbourn says the DART team will not necessarily have the same officers as those who were on the NET team. He says funding for this new initiative is for one year.

'People talk about community policing, which personally I don't think should be specified. I think every officer should be community friendly.'

Members of the DART team are set to hit the streets next Wednesday.

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  • by Anonymous on May 24, 2012 at 07:55 PM
    Reality check...the police don't care. The crimes are black on black, so the administration doesn't care. Think I am wrong? Imagine four or five white people murdered in northeast Meridian. Then you would see some scrambling.
  • by OH WELL Location: Meridian on May 23, 2012 at 07:25 PM
  • by concern Location: reececourt on May 23, 2012 at 04:30 PM
    I really just dont understand how the police suppose to be protected and you , in a certain neiigborhood then u get 0 protection i dont unerstand that. we given paying the cost maybe lesser but yet public houseing commuity needs protection..otherwise enough said ppl going start protecting themselves.then What!!lock up right!!!What a shame ppl have to run away to get justice here...gotta leave to keep from hurting somebody..police dept. need to do better...
  • by David Location: Meridian on May 23, 2012 at 01:06 PM
    I am a strong supporter of the MPD. However, recently I have had more and more trouble supporting them. Everytime I see a MPD car I see another parked right beside them. I have heard from several MPD officers that they are just trying to get through the day. Enforcement is not a major initiative. Morale is low and the officers just do not care.
  • by Hammer Location: MS on May 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM
    Drink one beer and they will be out in force! The reason so many crimes are gotten away with is because there is no money in it for them. DUI's and drug money is all they do.
    • reply
      by Can't wait to move on May 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM in reply to Hammer
      Hit the nail on the head!!!! LCSD is the same. No money in catching criminals or having a police presence in breeding ground areas. You can take target practice with a 9mm in Highland Park and not be disturbed. Have dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, and they follow you home. Won't be long before they start putting the reflective tape on your tail lights if you're parked in a bar parking lot.
  • by Citizen on May 22, 2012 at 10:34 PM
    When will they try to turn their image around....Stop sitting at the city limits with radar and patrol at a slow pace and get out so the people will know who the police officers are.I am constantly seeing comments about gathering up in locations and the perception of GOOFING OFF... Its only a few that make the rest look bad...Most are really good officers...
  • by CONCERNED CITIZEN Location: Meridian on May 22, 2012 at 06:29 PM
    I find it very amusing that we are NOW having a DART team paid for by a Federal Grant. Every time they have had one of these "Special Units" the one's assigned to it are the one's who are in the Chief's little CLICK team. Simply meaning this, they do what they are told, and nothing more. And to put James Sharpe in charge of them is a JOKE. Another "YES" man who will do what he is told, act the way he is told, etc. The City of Meridian police dept. will not go forward as long as Shelbourn is allowed to continue as Chief. If you looked into his background you might just be surprised at what you discover! Just another way of giving overtime to those who are lazy and won't ROCK the boat!
    • reply
      by Larry on May 24, 2012 at 05:40 AM in reply to CONCERNED CITIZEN
      You seem to know so much to know so little....the chief is doing a fine job with what he has to work with. The crazy people in this city just want to sit back on their hands and talk about what they could do if they had his job. The real thing is they wouldn't last a day in his boots. There is nothing in his past that is wrong, he does the right thing it just makes some mad becaude he does. He is a good man, you need to look agagin...
  • by Chuckles Location: Lauderdale County on May 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM
    The city is going to have all the city residents move and live along the interstates that way the MPD won't have to change their patrol routes!!!!
  • by Teams, screams on May 22, 2012 at 09:48 AM
    The citizens of Meridian are tired of the acronym teams, we just want action!
  • by william beckham Location: decatur on May 22, 2012 at 09:48 AM
    Seems the junction of the interstate & bonita lakes mall is the high crime areas, Seems evertime I visit my son there , any where from 2 to 5 police cars set up in the interstate,,What about the ctores being robbed, The women being molested in the mall?? Not saying which place, but anytime you go by this place, seems police are getting coffee??
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 23, 2012 at 06:02 AM in reply to william beckham
      Cefco. Any time of the day or night, certain police officers are there "getting coffee" (flirting with the employees). Houses in my neighborhood are being robbed, cars are being broken into. I'm tired of paying such high taxes for no protection from thugs and thieves. How about we take some of this federal grant money and re-route the 911 phone line to ring directly to all Cefcos? THAT would be direct action.
    • reply
      by danny on May 26, 2012 at 12:04 PM in reply to william beckham
      not heard about the woman being molested in the mall whats up with that?
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