City of Meridian accepts Homeland Security grant

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Mass shootings are a big concern across the nation, but the state of Mississippi is aiming to equip law enforcement agencies with the necessary skills to stop active shooters. Thanks to a Homeland Security grant, the Meridian Public Safety Training Facility will soon start active shooter training for law enforcement agencies across the state.

“Grants really help us expand our services and so we’re very fortunate to get this grant for Homeland Security,” says Meridian Mayor Percy Bland.

Director of Public Safety Doug Stephens says he’s hoping for additional grants to continue to improve the active shooter training.

“We would hope that based on the fact that the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security has supported us in another program, which is our Search and Rescue Program, and we have proven ourselves to be a great location, a great facility to offer this type of training, and now that they’ve invested these monies in here to start a law enforcement training in the active shooter area, we expect to receive additional funds if things go well,” Stephens explains.

Stephens says classes will begin after the 1st of the year.

“We have offered training in various different areas throughout the years, but this is one of the hot topics now, one of the things in the area of active shooter where law enforcement has really focused their efforts in training and trying to get their law enforcement personnel trained up and how to respond to various different types on incidents involving active shooters,” Stephens says. “I consider it to be a great honor for the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security to entrust us into using their funds wisely and putting out a great product.”

The amount of money in the grant is a little over $38,000.