After the recent shooting deaths of police officers across the nation, local residents and police stand united.
“Without them I don’t know what we would do. We need them patrolling our streets. We need them directing our youth. We need them protecting our homes and our community,” said resident Gloria Dancy.
More than a hundred residents gathered yesterday for a Back the Badge rally at Dumont Plaza. Community members held up back-the-badge signs to show their support for law enforcement.
“They keep the peace. If there wasn’t law and justice, people would be going crazy doing whatever they want to do because they know they can get away with whatever they want,” said resident Rob Pilar.
“Policemen are our friends, especially when you stay on the right side of the law,” said resident Shelia Walker.
During the rally, the mayor and law enforcement officials expressed the importance of the community and police working together to promote safety.
“There’s not that many people in the jails compared to the people who live in our cities and our communities. But we know that one, two, three, five people can cause chaos in a community. So the only thing that we can do as a community is stay together and stay vigilant in what we’re trying to do to promote safety and to provide safety,” said Mayor Percy Bland.
“People want law and order, even those that get a citation for not coming to a complete stop or maybe having an expired tag. They understand that in the greater good of the community, we have to have law and order. We are a nation of laws. If we are going to continue to be a great nation, we’ll have to continue to be a nation of laws,” said Ward Calhoun III, the chief deputy for the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department.
Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose said he was touched by the outpouring of community support.
“I didn’t expect but a few people to show up, especially with it being as hot as it is. But for them to stand out here for an hour, showing support for law enforcement, that means a lot to me. I can’t explain it, and I’m sure it means a lot to the officers that were here.”