MPD Deals with Officer Shortage

Meridian Police Chief Lee Shelbourn told the Meridian City Council Tuesday that he needs more officers.

The apparent problem is officers leaving for other, better-paying jobs.

Shelbourn told the council that 40-potential replacements passed both the physical training and written exams, and were interviewed last weekend. Now background checks are being done.

But the process of getting any new hires ready for patrol is lengthy, including academy training. And the department is hurting now.

"I know that our interdiction team out on the interstate, which can bring in a lot of money to the city of Meridian, needs to be active," said Bobby Smith, city council president. "We've only got one officer out there now. We did have four. Had one quit the other day. We got some people to come out here to lateral right now doesn't cost the city a dime to come in here and go to work."

Lateral officers would be job candidates who are already qualified with academy training.

Chief Shelbourn said he also wants to set the number of uniformed officers to 94, but be fully-staffed at that number. The MPD currently has 80-plus officers.

Shelbourn said if the department is fully staffed at 94, it would enable the city to use a roughly $380,000 grant that requires full staffing.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 4, 2010 at 10:26 AM
    This happens in every field just prepare for it and it lessens the blow. Not having civil service in place slowed the process down. Just a sign of management not focused!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 3, 2010 at 07:09 PM
    you must provide basic services before you go to the extra duty spots... i see cars driving all over town.. maybe park them for a while so you have money to do things with
  • by Leah Location: Lauderdale Co. on Feb 3, 2010 at 07:00 AM
    Maybe if there were less "made up" positions, there would be enough money to pay the people we really need.
  • by Bobby Location: meridian on Feb 2, 2010 at 08:23 PM
    This is a problem everywhere.... harder to find good officers....its a sign of the times... why are they leaving, does anyone know,... maybe someone can get the statistics and do a story
  • by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2010 at 08:22 PM
    The interdiction has dryed up since the ones that know what they are doing left for alot more money,,, more than the city could ever pay
  • by fp Location: meridian on Feb 2, 2010 at 07:36 PM
    If you would quit throwing away money and resources on that silly Threefoot Building, you could have some funds to hire needed law enforcement folks.
  • by bubba Location: in texas on Feb 2, 2010 at 06:34 PM
    I thought that at one time it was said that to be fully staffed, Meridian needed 100 or so officers? I do believe that it was fully staffed about one year ago or was that just smoke being blowen?
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