Meridian DART Team Making Progress

Officers who are part of the Direct Action Response Team are set up to police areas of the city where the crime rate is higher.

The DART team is not required to respond to emergency calls that normal officers would. So far, so good, according to Meridian Police.

"These guys are out there and the DART team is functioning like the administration envisioned it would," MPD spokesman Mike Vick says.

Vick says the group is intelligence-based, meaning officers rely on help from the public in order to make a difference. Vick tells Newscenter 11 it's important to report any suspicious activity to authorities, no matter how minor it may seem.

"And they do an intelligence analysis of the data," he says. "And that's where the team ends up going."

As for the 131 traffic citations issued between May 31st and June 13th, Vick tells us people often question why officers stop drivers when they are only driving 10 or 12 miles over the speed limit, instead of fighting real crime.

"But here's the fact," Vick points out. "People, including bad guys, get from point A to point B in a vehicle. And if my mindset is such that I will steal from you, how likely am I to obey traffic laws."

But he says that doesn't mean that people who are abiding by the law won't get stopped every now and then. There are safety checks set up occasionally. Last thursday, he says a safety check resulted in finding a felony amount of marijuana and making 3 DUI arrests.

There are approximately five officers that make up the Direct Action Response Team. Officer Vick says there are no plans to expand that number at this time.

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