Meridian, Miss. Meridian Housing Authority executive director, Ron Turner, says that over the last seven years crime within Meridian public housing has dropped.
"According to our reports, it has gone down at least 5%," said Turner.
He says the reduction has come since the agency partnered with the Meridian Police Department to hire 4 officers who patrol the agency's 9 properties.
Turner says the Meridian Housing Authority is making strides in security and addressing crime issues. He said just this year the local agency was named by HUD as one of the 'high performing' agencies in the nation.
According to MHA officials, more than 99% of the crimes that occur in or around public housing areas are not committed by tenants.
"99.9% of the time when criminal acts occur on the majority of our sites, none of these are residents who live in public housing," said Turner. "And so our residents are definitely outraged by these random acts. We've organized resident associations and we've got them on all 9 of our properties. These residents are actively involved in ensuring that public housing remains safe."
Because of offenses that they committed on public housing property, there are currently 271 people on the agency's banned list.