Proposals to Curb Crime

Some members of the Meridian City Council are offering proposals they say could help curb crime.

After much thought, Ward 4 councilman, Jesse Palmer, says he strongly believes that using city money to pay some people previously convicted of crimes to clean ditches and rights-of-way could help curb crime.

Palmer says many crimes are committed by people who are trying to get things that are easy to sell. He says money from the stolen items is often used to pay restitution and court fees that are owed.

"They can possibly do work that will help us. It'll be helping us, as well as helping themselves," said Palmer.

Palmer's proposal is to use a portion of the more than $4.5 million that has been allotted for the upkeep of city streets to pay the workers.

"I don't need my money, particularly, for paving because Supervisor Joe Norwood has done practically all of my streets," Palmer said.

Palmer says each council member's portion of the $4.5 million for street upkeep is roughly $900,000. Within his district he contends that at least some of that money would be better used to address the health hazards caused by some ditches and rights-of-way covered with tall grass, weeds and debris.

"There are snakes crawling in on some of those people's porches and yards in those areas," he said.

Mayor Cheri Barry shared her thoughts with us about the proposal.

"All options are on the table, and of course, we'd love for them to come and do some social work or do some community work with the city of Meridian also," said Barry.

Ward 2 council member, Mary Perry, is making a plea to local businesses.

"There are some businesses in Meridian that will not hire a person who has a misdemeanor, and because of that, a lot of good kids and people who are citizens here are not getting jobs," said Perry. "That's not a felony; but if you see that it's akin to a felony and you choose to disregard that person, there's nothing wrong with that, but please don't have in your policy that you will not hire a person with a misdemeanor. You see, everybody makes one mistake sometimes, but they don't have to be penalized forever for having made that mistake."

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