"It's long overdue. The residents for months have been asking about issues regarding security," Ron Turner, Sr., executive director of the Meridian Housing Authority, explains.
Those questions have been answered with the opening of the newest Meridian Police Substation in the East End section of the city. Police Chief James Reed says the substation will serve an active role in the daily operations of the department. "Their regular duties. We will use this as a place to come and work; a place to interview people if we have to do interviews."
Besides daily police work, Chief Reed believes this substation will also increase community awareness and support in helping to stop crime.
"We'll have visibility. Hopefully the citizens of this area will feel safe knowing that they can come and talk to us about anything that goes on. It's a two fold effort, two way street. We will work with them, and hopefully they will work with us as well," Reed tells us.
The substation will not be limited to just official police business. In fact, as the Meridian Housing Authority moves forward in revitalizing the East End, all major decisions will be made right here.
"We're going to have several community meetings here," says Turner. "This is also going to act as a hub for the Choice Neighborhood Community Organizational Committee, and so therefore any initiatives that we have community-wide regarding the Choice Neighborhood-East End Initiative will be enacted right here, in the heart of this community that we are trying to revitalize."
The substation was made possible thanks to the almost quarter-of-a-million dollar planning grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.