Crime is down in Meridian, according to Mayor Cheri Barry.
Barry says she credits the Meridian Police Department and its dedication. Over the last few months, officers have stepped up their efforts to tackle the city's crime problem. In December, Mayor Barry ordered that extra officers patrol the streets.
"We've got officers on bicycles as of this week," Barry says. "In fact, we have seven new bicycles out that will be riding our parks, our neighborhoods, our inner city."
She says it's not only the police department to thank, but the community as well. Neighborhood watch groups and other observant citizens have assisted law enforcement officers. However, that won't completely erase the crime problem.
"You know, crime is upon us," Barry tells Newscenter 11. "Evil is upon all of our communities and we're going to fight it as hard and as fast as we can to rule these people out of our community. So that we will have a safe community. Public safety is the most important thing in the success of a city."
Given the large number of shootings and armed robberies the city has seen in recent months, Barry says she has reviewed the city's crime figures. In the past four years, she says there have been 21 murders.
"Well, that's 21 murders too many," Barry adds. "But 16 of those have been solved, with five being open. And then I go a little bit further back to 2003 and 2004. And we also had nine murders during those two years."
While the city of Meridian has a zero-tolerance policy on crime, Barry maintains it is a global problem that will require the help of everyone.