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Ward 2 voices concerns to Police Chief Deborah Young

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 9:24 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Meridian’s chief of police would not allow WTOK news cameras inside a public meeting she sponsored Monday night. That was a violation of the Mississippi Open Meetings Act.

Our station attorneys got involved and Tuesday we were able to take our camera inside to record and document this important meeting, with an apology from city attorney, Will Simmons.

This meeting was designated for the people of Ward 2. The chief announced a series of five public meetings last week To introduce herself to the people of the city.

Citizens shared their concerns and frustrations with Chief Young, MPD, and Ward 2 councilman Dwayne Davis. Mayor Jimmie Smith was also in attendance.

Some of the topics discussed were gun violence, speeding in neighborhoods, lack of communication with officers and people wanting officers to patrol in their communities.

“Anything we can help with the community especially looking out for the children’s in our community and the more the community can come together with our police department and local officials then it’s going to be better off for everybody. It’s a beginning, it’s a start. Seems like a small start but I expect it to grow bigger as people start to get more involved. Working together. We all have to work together to make this happen,” said Ward 2 resident, James Evans.

“Everything is going to be all right; this city going to be all right. You don’t have to move out, you don’t have to leave the city. The city is moving and it’s moving in the right direction. When you get the city, you’re in your city of Meridian and you get the city of Meridian officers behind you, and you get behind them and everybody gets on one accord then there’s no doubt about the change. It’s going to change. I’m prayerful it’s going to change. With our new administration, it’s already begun. I just want to tell the city of Meridian we’ve got to be patient. Let them get staffed up and once that happens it’s going to roll,” said Ward 2 resident, Pastor Mary Johnson.

Chief Young will hold three more meet and greets. The meeting with people who live in Ward 3 is Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

These important meetings are great places to share thoughts and ideas that might help make Meridian a safer place to live.

WTOK will cover all of the remaining meetings.

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