Conversation with the Chief, Part 2

Meridian Police Chief Lee Shelbourn says he's making sure that his officers presence is very visible in neighborhoods, especially those neighborhoods that are affected by crime.

Each day, members of the Meridian Police Department meet before taking to the streets. They never know what their day will be like: car burglaries, home invasions, accidents, or as was the case last week, murder.

Chief Shelbourn is clear on where the problem stems.

"I think drugs is a major part of our crimes. I think it's affiliated with our homicides," said Shelbourn. "I think it's affiliated with our burglaries, I think it's affiliated with a vast majority of our crimes. I think we need to address our drugs."

And so to do that, he wants a bigger presence in the school house.

"I'd like to save these kids from issues," the chief said. "We want to help them before they get into trouble instead of waiting till after the fact."

And there's more. Highland Park has become problematic over the years. A quiet beautiful park, it is a crime area.There are things in the works to make it safer. There are few details at this point. What is detailed is a plan to deal with gangs.

"We're looking at establishing an anti-gang unit," said Shelbourn. "Some people have told me, no, we don't have a gang problem. From what I've seen and the statistics I've seen, we do."

Shelbourn says he is also establishing special ops units on the street in burglary-ridden areas.

The Meridian Police Department has 95 full-time sworn officers, 16 other employees and 45 square miles of territory to cover.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by ed on Nov 7, 2009 at 05:49 PM
    it isnt all on law enforcement it is all the people that make a difference.. how many officers on on the dept at any one time... then figure the about of people in the city and size ..... would work out 80:1 ... as far as gang member.. yes there are wanta be's but there are gang members in the area... but they keep it on the down low in order for them to do other things.. like i said it take all to deal with this trash... as long as we work as a whole it will slow down and soon they will get the hint we will not put up with it..
  • by Anonymous on Nov 7, 2009 at 02:08 PM
    Meridian has not seen this quality in the office of the Chief of Police since Walter Tucker. Be proud Meridian has such a man in place, that is if you want Meridian to have a chance to prosper.
  • by EDWARD Location: MERIDIAN on Nov 6, 2009 at 08:40 PM
    ON THE COMMENT ABOUT HIGHLAND PARK, THIS WAS A PLAN BY THE OTHER ADMINISTRATION TO ALLOW HIGHLAND PARK TO BECOME A PLACE OF FEAR, SO HE COULD JUSTIFY PUTTING EVERYTHING DOWN AT BONITA LAKE, OR DOWNTOWN WE HAD POLICE TO PROTECT THE PARK, THEY WADE ROUNDS EVERY NOW AND THEN, BUT THEY WERE ALWAYS ON PATROL AT BONITA LAKE. I LOVE HIGHLAND PARK, TOO BAD IT GOT IN THIS SHAPE. THE NEW CITY ADMINISTRATION HAVE ALREADY PUSH IT ASIDE TO MAKE A PARK DOWNTOWN
  • by confused Location: meridian on Nov 6, 2009 at 08:29 PM
    I THOUGHT THIS POLICE CHIEF WOULD TAKE ON ALL TYPE OF CRIMINIALS??? BUT I DON'T HEAR NOTHING ABOUT CLOSING DOWN PARLAY HOUSES, GAMBLINGIS AGAINST THE LAW ALSO.BE THE CHIEF YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO BE ANY CRIME IS WRONG. LET'S GET ALL THE LAW BREAKER
  • by Amazed Location: Meridian on Nov 6, 2009 at 10:00 AM
    "Meridian", you don't get out much, do you? Gang signs and symbols are all over the place, you just have to know what to look for. Colors, styles, logos, tattoos, graffiti, it's out there on our streets and most people don't know what they're looking at. Gang markings are MEANT to only be recognized by others in the gang culture. Benny knows they're here, just ask him. Yes, most of them are wannabes, but the affiliations are being created and it needs to be squashed before it gets out of hand. Best of luck, Chief Shelbourn, we're behind you!
  • by omubu Location: Meridian on Nov 6, 2009 at 09:21 AM
    Long overdue, good luck, I believe you are hitting the nail on the head. Nip-it, nit-it in the bud. It is growing like a cancer and we are following the path to be like Jackson crim infestid neighbor hood where old people are robbed and murdered.
  • by Anonymous too Location: Meridian on Nov 6, 2009 at 09:07 AM
    I live in the county but work in the city. I hope that the new Chief can shape up his department, literally and figurively. They are a fine bunch of men and women in general and I salute what they do, but there are some police employees where I would hope they did not have to get physical because I don't think they could do it. Take example from the Sheriff's department. Billy Sollie leads by example. He is in fine physical condition and, from what I have seen of all the deputies I've personally encountered, so are all his deputies.
  • by Tywana Location: Memphis on Nov 6, 2009 at 06:54 AM
    Cheif Shelborn please take back our streets. I remember when Meridian was safe and with all you need to do and these parents giving assistance to you we can take back our streets!! God Bless you because you have a lot of work to do!!
  • by Meridian Location: Meridian on Nov 6, 2009 at 04:32 AM
    Lee Shelbounre,The Meridian Police Department have alway been at the public schools,therefore do not act as if your doing something different or better than Benny Dubose,because you are not. Meridian DO NOT have gang memebers. We have wannabe gangsters floating around here. When have you ever seen any gangsters signs writing on the walls around this town? NEVER! When have you ever seen any gangsters wearing dorags and dressing out as gangsters? Never! You know nothing about this town son! It time for you to come from behind that desk to explore this town and please do not start harrassing the people of Meridian.
  • by Anonymous One Location: Meridian on Nov 5, 2009 at 08:31 PM
    Chief, we are behind you and will support you and your men in changing the face of this community. Thugs and punks have had their run of the streets too long. It is time to give Meridian back to the people who work hard to make it a great place to live. Good luck to you.
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