Citizen cooperation, alert dispatcher cited in arrest of Meridian man
By By William F. West / community editor
Aug. 22, 2002
Sheriff Billy Sollie cited citizen cooperation and an alert central dispatcher as keys in the arrest of a 36-year-old Meridian man who tried to steal merchandise from a convenience store.
Sollie said Wednesday that Melvin Jimerson, of 1609 22nd St., will be charged in connection with the burglary of the El Cheapo on Highway 19 South. Meridian police have also charged him with giving false identification information.
Sollie said the store owner allowed a sheriff's deputy to view the store's videotape, which provided a clothing and a physical description of the suspect.
In addition, Sollie said the dispatcher told the sheriff's deputy that a city police officer had just arrested a person carrying three cartons of cigarettes in the city.
Sollie said the deputy gave a matching description of the clothing to a police investigator and that evidence was further confirmed by the store owner.
Sollie said having a central dispatch center and a dispatcher quick enough to remember the city officer's arrest assisted in the arrest. The city and the county have been using a central dispatch for about two years.
And reporters saw first-hand the importance of authorities needing information, with Sollie pausing as Maj. Ward Calhoun answered a cellular telephone call from a person wanting to give a tip to CrimeStoppers.