The Meridian Police Department is cracking down on gang activity by sending officers to training.
“Every year the Mississippi Association of Gang Investigators have a conference where gang investigators across the state and some out of the state get together and exchange information about their activities in their jurisdiction,” said Police Chief Benny Dubose.
The intensive four-day training teaches officers how to identify and react to gang activity.
“They talk about gang recruitment, different ideologies of the gangs. Some gangs operate by selling narcotics. Some are dealing in weapons, and some are in human trafficking,” said Dubose.
Targeting gang activity is a part of Mayor Percy Bland’s initiative to decrease crime in the city.
“The mayor indicated that it’s time for us to stop burying our head in the sand and pretending like everything is ok and that we don’t have gangs. It’s obvious to everybody in this city that there is gang activity going on. We have to aggressively go after the illegal acts that are occurring as a
result of the gang activity,” said Dubose.
He explained how the community can help.
“There’s a certain amount of fear among members of the community, afraid of retaliation and so forth, thinking someone is going to find out if they report certain activities. But it would be in the best interest of the community to report information, and they can report that information and stay anonymous.”
To report any suspicious activity you see, call Crimes Stoppers at 855-485-TIPS(8477).