MPD relaunches the Business Alert Network to deter crime | Local news

The Meridian Police Department is re-launching a partnership with local businesses to deter shoplifting, burglaries and other commercial crimes.

The Business Alert Network, which is inspired by neighborhood watch programs, is a cooperative effort between law enforcement and businesses to report, deter and prevent business-related crime.

In a meeting Thursday, Lt. Rita Jack, who is the crime prevention coordinator at the MPD, said BAN was initially launched in 2019 with several neighborhood watch programs, but the COVID-19 pandemic, which arrived shortly after the launch of the programs, put the initiatives on hold.

Now, said Jack, MPD is working to revive BAN and get businesses involved in the program. BAN incorporates networking, advice and training to reduce corporate crime and send a message to criminals that Meridian businesses are not easy targets, she said.

“For that to happen, we have to start somewhere, and today is that start,” she said.

Jack said MPD needs local businesses to play an “active role” in crime prevention. This means reporting crimes when they occur, sharing information with law enforcement, and calling when business owners see suspicious people or activity in the area.

“It’s as easy as picking up the phone, calling our dispatcher and saying, ‘I don’t know what this is, but it doesn’t look good,'” she said. declared.

The BAN organization, Jack said, will hold regular meetings to share their concerns with law enforcement and receive training from police officers on how to identify crime and prevent criminal activity.

Jack said all local businesses are encouraged to participate in the BAN program to help prevent commercial crime in Meridian.

For more information, contact Jack at 601-513-6916.

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