Meridian's interim police chief says he's ready to get started taking the city back. Chief Buck Roberts's style of policing is much different than his predecessor. He says the biggest change in this transition of leadership will be a boost in morale, something he's already begun to see.
"I'm not bragging, but the morale has made a drastic turn for the better," Chief Roberts explains. "Talk to these officers, the men and women and just explain what you want. You don't demand respect. You earn respect. "
He says he also wants to get back to community policing with community support. Chief James Lee introduced some new strategies to the MPD, like the quadrant system. And Chief Roberts says there will be further discussions within the department about whether those will remain. In the meantime, the mayor is searching for someone to permanently fill the role of police chief.
Chief Roberts has worked with the police department for over 30 years and says is chief were to become his permanent title, that's a responsibility, he's ready and equipped to handle.
"Everybody's dream when you become a member, at least it should be is to make it all the way to the top. I've been very fortunate in my career to be here as long as I have and now I've made it to the top. If the mayor sees fit, then that's great. If he don't, then I'm going to continue doing what I do best, and that's serving the people of the city of Meridian," he says.