June 24, 2001
MPD does not lack
To the Editor:
In your editorial of June 20 concerning "major items" of city business being unresolved, you stated that the Meridian Police Department "is on the verge of being leaderless." Though I agree that the Chief's position needs to be filled in a timely manner, I can assure you and the citizens of Meridian that the Meridian Police Department does not lack leadership.
In the event that the Chief of Police is not available to perform his/her duties, the responsibility lies with the Assistant Chief of Police.
I, along with the seven Captains that serve under me, have twenty or more years of experience and are capable of offering the leadership needed to run the Meridian Police Department in an effective and efficient manner until such time as a new Chief is appointed.
Realizing that you may not be privy to such information, we appreciate your interest in this department and its ability to effectively "Serve and Protect" the citizens of Meridian.
Acting Chief of Police
Editorial on MPD
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to The Meridian Star's editorial of Wednesday, June 20.
I would like to say thank you. I appreciate your interest in the day-to-day running of Meridian and all of the smaller aspects involved in making the city function. I believe it is the responsibility of a competent newspaper to remind the public of the issues, which sometimes are left forgotten because they lack the appeal of immediate care. I also believe that you should be told when you are misinformed.
Your article is correct in stating that Chief Lewis did not give a clear effective date for retirement. But to imply that the Police Department is "on the verge of being leaderless" is totally inaccurate and misleading. I have been a member of this department for 25 years, in the position of captain since l996. There are six other captains and not one has less than 15 years of experience in this department.
We also have an Assistant Chief who is quite capable of making critical decisions on a daily basis. And has done so many times in the past. Chief Lewis did not go without vacations for the past eight years. And during his absence Chief DuBose made the decisions that kept us running. Just as he will continue to do until Mayor Smith appoints Chief Lewis' successor.
Another pitiful case
of abandoned animals
To the Editor:
A pitiful, scrawny, black dog greeted church-goers on Sunday, June 10. She was wearing a choke collar, and 50 percent of her body was bald, consumed with mange. She was hanging with milk like a cow. One by one, six scrawny, mangy black puppies, perhaps five weeks old, emerged from under parked cars.
My church is in rural Lauderdale County, and many times in the past, dogs, cats, puppies and kittens have been dumped there by irresponsible humans, too cheap or poor to spay/neuter their pets, let alone take care of the consequence of their negligence.
Obviously someone believed good "Christians" would take care of their problem. The prevailing opinion was that the entire "family" needed to be put down. Little children at church fell in love with those mangy pups, as parents struggled to hustle them quickly away.
The local Humane Society, in its infancy, still has no facility or means to take in strays; there is no county shelter, the city pound is off limits. There was no immediate, obvious solution. No one volunteered to carry seven mangy, diseased dogs home, even for the day, fearing for the welfare of their family and/or pets. Who would pay for euthanizing seven animals, knowing that most local vets charge $20 to $30 each would any vet "cut a deal" for seven abandoned at a church?
So on that Sunday, dog food and water was set out, and folks went home.
On Monday afternoon, the dog family still occupied the church porch and grounds. The steps were covered with dog hair shed by that pitiful, scratching, mother dog.
On Tuesday morning, Ms. (Cheryl) Walton from the Humane Society received a call from a motorist who reported that the mother dog had been killed by a car, and the puppies were trying to nurse off their dead mother in the middle of the road.
The good Samaritan, who had to take time off from work, moved the dead mother's body from the road and collected three of the puppies. A car had
already killed a fourth, a search behind the church by a Humane Society worker produce one more, and number six was never found. A local veterinarian euthanized four at substantially reduced rate.
How pitiful does it have to get for folks to care? None of us is able to do as much as we would like, but everyone can do something call your county supervisor, donate to the Humane Society, and spay/neuter/confine your pets.