MPD chief could face salary cut

Published: Jun. 6, 2016 at 5:26 PM CDT
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Meridian's police chief could soon see his salary cut by more than $12,000.

"I have voiced to the City Council president Randy Hammon, as I have voiced to you, this is an unacceptable act," Mayor Percy Bland says.

The City Council will vote on the proposal to lower Chief Benny Dubose's salary by 15 percent Tuesday morning. That's a cut from $83,500 per year to just under $71,000.

"There's no investigation with this guy that's going on," Mayor Bland says. "It's ludicrous."

The mayor says he's been told by the council that the problem is not enough citations being issued by police officers for violations of ordinances like saggy pants and loud noise. The mayor says he thinks they're doing a great job of devoting their time to bigger issues like gangs, drugs and violence in the city.

"Even though they are laws that we will try our best to enforce, we are trying to deal with more serious problems in our police department right now," Mayor Bland says.

Council president Randy Hammon tells me off-camera the majority of council members have been dissatisfied with the MPD for over a year. He says the community doesn't feel safe when citizens call police for help and nothing is done, and they're tired of the mayor and police chief deciding which laws to enforce. Meanwhile, the mayor says if the Council votes in favor of this salary cut, the city could lose its police chief.

"You're asking me a question directly," Mayor Bland says. "Could he possibly want to retire or resign if he was to get a reduction in pay? I think the answer may be yes."

Dubose's salary will be discussed during Tuesday morning's meeting of the City Council. It will be held at 9 a.m. on the third floor of City Hall.