MPD Chief says crime numbers are down, but more needs to be done – WTOK

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) – For a while now, a big topic for Meridianites has been crime. When it comes to the actual numbers you might be surprised. With all the discussion on social media you would think they would be through the roof, but that’s not the case.

Believe it or not, overall crime numbers are down over the last few years in the city of Meridian.

Numbers dating back all the way to 1985 show that 2019 had less violent crimes, robberies and property crimes than many other years.

“We had a 25 percent decrease in violent crimes compared to 2014. We had a 26 percent decrease in property crimes since 2014,” Dubose says.

Although crime really is down in the long run, Dubose says that’s not the public’s perception.

“That’s not really what the public wants us to hear. They want us to say, ‘we are going to stop these gunshots that wake you up at 3:00 in the morning. We are going to catch these people and put them in jail and stop this silliness that is going on in the community.’ That’s what we are trying to do at this point,” Dubose says.

One of the big things that stick out is the homicide rate. It’s bounced back and forth for many years, but 2019 saw the most since at least 2011. Out of the 15 homicides last year, suspects were arrested in all but one. Meridian police are still searching for Javarious Page and his role in the Citgo shooting.

“In the majority of the cases the victim and the suspect have been in some type of relationship and knew each other prior to the act being committed,” Dubose explains.

Chief Dubose says social media has played a major role in spreading information about crime and that’s not always been the case.

“Take 1997. We had 334 violent crimes reported in that year alone. That’s more than we’ve had since 1985 before and after. ’97 was a terrible year crime wise, but we didn’t have the social media outlets pouring the information out there like we do now,” Dubose says.

Dubose says the harshest critics of the Queen City are its own residents.

“We are painting ourselves into a dark corner saying that Meridian is so bad. It’s not that Meridian is a bad place. Meridian is a great place and some people that don’t live here see that. It’s just the people that live here giving it a bad name. In all fairness we need to do more. Law enforcement needs to do more and the public needs to do more in assisting law enforcement,” Dubose says.

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