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Scholastic CrimeStoppers program hopes to trim crime in Meridian schools

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Nov. 28, 2001
Students in Meridian public schools now have a way to anonymously report crime and possibly receive a reward through a program called Scholastic CrimeStoppers.
School administrators and law enforcement representatives unveiled the program during a Tuesday meeting at the school district's Safety and Security Center. The program is in partnership with Meridian and Lauderdale County's CrimeStoppers.
Students will be able to use a new CrimeStoppers number to offer tips: 484-4906. They also can call tips toll-free to the state CrimeStoppers organization at (888) 827-4637.
The next step for the school program is to organize a student-run board that will set rewards up to $1,000 for information that will lead to a "resolution" of whatever crime has been reported.
Reward money is being supplied by the local CrimeStoppers organization.
Laticia Davis, a Meridian High School senior, attended the Tuesday meeting to see how she could help. Davis, a member of the VISIONS leadership group at school, volunteered to visit several campuses to stress the importance of reporting and preventing crime.
Margaret Cooper, state director of CrimeStoppers said Scholastic CrimeStoppers programs welcome the reports of any activity that could endanger students, employees or school property.
Cooper organized the first Scholastic CrimeStoppers program in the state through Tupelo public schools in 1995. School districts in Booneville, Corinth, Jones County and Laurel have similar programs in place.
Cooper said more than $2,000 in rewards to students have been distributed this year based on information phoned to the state CrimeStoppers number.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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