City Leaders Discuss Fighting Crime

Police say there is no doubt that they have seen a vast increase in the number of shootings and armed robberies taking place in the city of meridian.

Police say their main focus has been to apprehend those responsible and to also pinpoint areas that are most prone to crime.

"We have started to take personnel that's not normally associated with the patrol function," Assistant Police Chief James Sharpe says. "Such as our D.A.R.E officers and actually putting them in areas to supplement our patrol forces."

Police stress that they cannot be patrolling each and every street at every hour of the day. That's why they say need your help in keeping an eye out for suspicious activity.

"Some of the crimes will occur and somebody will see it," Captain Dean Harper. "They're close by, they'll see something going on. And instead of calling and letting us know, giving us some information. They just stay quiet and that's something that we keep stressing to people is that we can't be everywhere at once."

Captain Harper says there is no reason to be afraid of relaying information to authorities because of the crimestoppers line. All you have to do is call 601-485-1860 and you can remain anonymous. Harper says this has helped to solve several recent crimes in the city.

Mayor Cheri Barry says she has been meeting with community leaders for three months now about crime and that the shooting of a 10-month old child was the breaking point. But she says the community's help is essential.

"We need for them to be our eyes and our ears," Barry says. "They need to report and report accurately what they see. And it's going to be the only way that we can take this community back is to get people involved that don't want to get involved and to report the facts of what they see."

Because of the recent arrests just mentioned and other arrests being made, Lauderdale County authorities say the county detention facility is at record capacity. Officials say there are 287 people in custody there now and that 280 is the normal limit.


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