Meridian, Miss. Since the Meridian Police Department recently started releasing very little information about crimes, the public has turned to Facebook groups to find out more information.
Two new Facebook groups, Community Watch and Crime in Meridian Mississippi,are trying to combine the community's knowledge to help citizens learn as much information as possible on crimes in the area.
You may post any details you have about criminal activity, as well as see the posts by others through both of these groups.
Organizers of both say they're working to provide accurate information through these outlets.
"First and foremost, we do not want this to be a rumor mill," said Trish Drinkwater of Community Watch. "If anything, we want to dispel rumors. We want to make the information as credible as possible."
"I came up with the idea to do this to keep people aware of things happening in their situation. It goes back to people need to be informed," said Brian McCary of Crime in Meridian Mississippi. "Bad guys aren't looking on the Internet, on Facebook, to see if we're keeping up with them. They're too busy stealing stuff and breaking into our houses."
But the organizers say they don't want these groups to be an outlet for taking out frustrations on police officers.
"As far as bashing our law enforcement, I think they have a tremendous burden. They're overworked and underpaid," said Drinkwater. "We want to support their efforts, not undermine them."
Organizers say they hope that by providing locations of criminal activity, the public can stay informed and keep their families out of dangerous locations.
Both Community Watch and Crime in Meridian Mississippi are available for anyone to join or contribute. Links are provided below.
After a week of public pressure, crime reports from the Meridian Police Department changed. Tuesday's report reverted to the former style used by the MPD for a long time. It contained times and locations, rather than vague statements. Police have not said whether this is a permanent change in policy.
The report is always listed in the Arrest Reports section of wtok.com, beneath the names of those charged with various crimes. It's available in the drop-down menu under News. A link is also provided below.