MPD hosts press conference about uptick in violence in the city

Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 7:47 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - With the recent uptick in violence in the cit’s, Meridian Police Chief Deborah Young held a press conference Saturday to update the public on the department’s efforts to increase safety.

A shooting this week claimed the life of a teen and another person was injured. Chief Young said the violence is frustrating but the department is working to find answers.

“Meridian Police Department is working very hard and helping with these cases. We are also in the process of getting more training for them. They attend conferences and other training that will help them. Also, Meridian Police Department is in the process of rebuilding our SWAT unit. We are also in the process of rebuilding our gang unit to combat some of this crime that is going on in the city,” said Chief Young.

Staffing shortages have been an issue and the chief said they are doing everything they can to fill positions.

“We are working hard to get people hired. We are training new officers that are coming in. We have some that are at the police academy right now. We have a couple that just graduated from our law enforcement academy. We are also hiring lateral transfers from other agencies that would like to come here so it is not that we are not trying to get the proper manpower that we need here in Meridian. We are working very hard at that, but there is a process that they must got through and I can’t rush that process,” said Young.

The chief has a warning for those who are committing these crimes.

“Those of you that are out here doing these type of activities, you better believe when we get you, we are going to try and get the maximum sentence for you,” said Young.

The chief said this is a team effort to reduce crime in the city.

“It is going to take this whole community p, not just Meridian Police Department, not just Lauderdale County, not just Boys and Girls Club or any other, it takes all of us. It takes people within the neighborhoods. This is our community, and we need to take back our community. We cannot do that without your help. So, I solicit help, I solicit information, and concerns from everyone,” said Chief Young.

The Meridian Police Department plans to attend an event hosted by the Boys and Girls Club Dec. 1 to show their commitment to working with organizations to reduce crime.