As police in Meridian continue efforts to solve recent crimes, once again officials are making a plea to the public to share information that could lead to arrests.
'There's no way the officers can do it all,' say Lieutenant Dean Harper. As head of the department's detective division, he says input from the public is often a key component to solving crimes.
"On any good day, a really good day, there might be 15 officers working the street. Geographically, if you figure that out, that's about one officer for every three or four square miles. So, take a four square mile area and put one officer in it and have him protect 600 homes which equals about 2,500 people. Do the math, that's really hard."
When it comes to assistance from the public, Lt. Harper says he doesn't want residents to be vigilantes, but instead vigilant about what's happening within their neighborhoods.
'I don't expect a 70-year-old grandma to confront some thug on the street to ask, 'What are you doing in my neighborhood?' We would like for the 70-year-old grandma or 20-year-old single mom or whatever to call 911 and say, 'Hey, there's some guy walking down the street and he looks kind of suspicious; can you send a car?' Yes mam', we'll send a car.'
Harper stresses that criminals often seek what's called, 'soft targets,' or places where security measures are not taken. That's why he says making security a priority is so important.
'If you've got an alarm on your house and a big dog, they don't want to go there. That's the only way we're going to win this fight is with police and civilians collectively working together.'
Anyone with information that could lead to arrests in the recent rash of crimes is asked to call the Meridian Police Department at (601) 485-1893. Callers can remain anonymous.