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A Loss of Confidence: Meridian Mayor Cans Chief, Begins Search for the Next

MERIDIAN, Miss.–It’s a loss of confidence in James Lee, that’s the reason Meridian Mayor Percy Bland gave for firing the city’s top cop Tuesday. Lee has had a tough ten months as chief, and Bland said it was time to go after Lee would not resign.

Bland had said just a couple of months back that he would stand by the chief, but was already taking disciplinary steps when the Equal Opportunity officer said in a letter he believed Lee was creating a hostile work environment.

The city’s assistant chief, Buck Roberts was sworn in at the city council meeting immediately to serve as interim chief.

Now there’s a search on for the next chief of the Queen City’s police department.

“I’m looking for a person who I feel like can immediately come in and have the respect and confidence of the men and also get back to doing what we need done, which is fighting crime and doing an effective job of community policing.”

And, with the city’s growing reputation as a dangerous place, it may not be an easy task. Gunfire has become common place in some of the city’s neighborhoods. There have also been several brazen crimes lately, like a hold-up last week that involved an 85-year-old woman having a gun put in her face in her long-time business.


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