Meridian Star

December 28, 2012

Law enforcement dealing with direct threat

By Brian Livingston / blivingston@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     A threat of violence against law enforcement officers in Meridian and Lauderdale County is being taken seriously.

    On Thursday, Don Hopkins, a detective with the Meridian Police Department, asked followers on his Facebook page to say a special prayer for his brothers and sisters in law enforcement.

    "A serious threat has been made by local gang want-to-bees that they are going to kill an MPD or LCSD officer before the New Year," Hopkins wrote.

    Hopkins further cautioned his fellow law enforcement officers to "watch their six," meaning to look over their shoulder and to do what they have to do to protect themselves.

    Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said law enforcement officers are frequently threatened, but that they take each and every threat seriously.

    "As the head of a law enforcement department I hope I have provided to my officers the best officer training and tools so they can make the best decision whenever they are faced with a life or death situation," Sollie said. "People with evil minds don't concern themselves with the lives of innocent people around them but we have to take those and other factors into consideration whenever a shooting incident occurs."

    Sollie was a detective at the MPD in 1985 when the last officer, Alma Walters, was killed while on duty. Today marks the anniversary of that day.

    MPD Chief James Reed said he was late for a meeting and could not comment on the threat.

    Hopkins went on to write that he hopes his fellow officers don't second guess themselves when faced with defending themselves, stating in the post, "You may not get a second chance."