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Ridgeland Mississippi News

Ridgeland Awarded Healthy Heroes Grant

Ridgeland Healthy Heroes 06

Ridgeland Police Officers received training through the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation for the Healthy Heroes initiative in Ridgeland. A team of officers will serve as Healthy Heroes at Ann Smith and Highland Elementary Schools, teaching K-5th grade students about healthy eating and fitness. This initiative is funded by a grant from the Foundation. Pictured, from left: Officer Brice Berry, Officer Noell Bass, Officer Scott Young, Blue Cross & Blue Shield Executive Director Sheila Grogan, Officer Ricky Bracey, Officer Daniel Stevens, and Officer Gerald West.

The City of Ridgeland will soon be sending Healthy Heroes, a team of Ridgeland Police Officers trained to conduct health education, into Ann Smith and Highland Elementary Schools. This initiative, the Ridgeland Healthy Heroes, is made possible by a grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. Ridgeland Healthy Heroes also includes education and encouragement of healthy lifestyles for Ridgeland’s sworn officers.

In a letter dated Aug. 15, 2016, the City of Ridgeland was notified that a grant application for a Ridgeland Healthy Heroes program had been approved by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation Board of Directors. The grant award for $14,400 will be used to implement a kindergarten through 5th-grade health education program by the City of Ridgeland, utilizing police officers as the instructors and role models.

“When children have positive role models who exercise and choose nutritious foods, it encourages them to follow suit,” said Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal. “Our goal is to enhance the health of Ridgeland’s children, while also encouraging a healthier police force.”

“This is an exciting and unique opportunity for the Ridgeland Police Department to extend their role as community leaders,” said Sheila Grogan, Executive Director of the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. “Uniformed police officers teaching healthy eating lessons and leading fun fitness activities will encourage children to adopt lifestyles of health and wellness that will carry them beyond their elementary school years.”

Ridgeland HH Ricky Bracey 05

Ridgeland Police Officer Ricky Bracey shows some of the educational materials he will be using for the Ridgeland Healthy Heroes initiative. Uniformed Ridgeland Police Officers will serve as Healthy Heroes at Ann Smith and Highland Elementary Schools, teaching K-5th grade students about healthy eating and fitness. This initiative is funded by a grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. The Ridgeland Healthy Heroes team also includes Officers Noell Bass, Brice Berry, Daniel Stevens, Gerald West, and Scott Young.

The following Ridgeland Police Officers will represent the City of Ridgeland as Healthy Heroes: Noell Bass, Brice Berry, Ricky Bracey, Daniel Stevens, Gerald West, and Scott Young.

The project will be led by School Resource Officer Scott Young who is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Nutrition and fitness education will be provided for the Ridgeland Police Department. Officers will be encouraged to get biometric screenings and to improve their scores over time through exercise and nutrition.

Training for the Healthy Heroes was hosted by the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation on August 24. Representatives from the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Healthy Schools provided training as to how to teach healthy eating and exercise lessons to students in grades K-5. Best practices were presented by Sergeant Doug Dickerson with the Laurel Police Department. The City of Laurel, Mississippi created the Healthy Heroes initiative in partnership with the Foundation in 2014 and implemented their program in the Laurel School District.

Ridgeland HH Fun Exercise 03

Ridgeland Police Officers will be leading fun exercises while serving as Healthy Heroes at Ann Smith and Highland Elementary Schools during the 2016-2017 school year. Ridgeland Healthy Heroes, an initiative to instruct elementary students in fitness and healthy eating, is funded by a grant from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation. Pictured, from left: Officer Noell Bass, Officer Scott Young, Officer Brice Berry, Officer Daniel Stevens, and Officer Ricky Bracey. Not pictured – Officer Gerald West.

Grant funds will allow the City of Ridgeland to purchase fitness games and equipment and nutrition education materials for Ann Smith and Highland Elementary Schools. A biometric scale and educational materials will be purchased for the Ridgeland Police Department. Funds will also be used to reinvigorate a teaching vegetable garden at Highland Elementary through the expertise of Ridgeland Police Officer Daniel Stevens.

For more information about Ridgeland Healthy Heroes, contact Scott Young at Scott.Young@Ridgelandms.org or by calling 601-856-2121.

 

Ridgeland Police Launch Facebook Page

The Ridgeland Police Department recently launched a Facebook page to provide an additional means of communicating with the citizens of Ridgeland. The public is invited to like the page which seeks to inform citizens about police department activities, alert citizens of traffic and crime-related issues, and interact with followers.The page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/RidgelandPoliceDepartment/?fref=ts.

“The nationwide trend for law enforcement agencies to utilize nontraditional methods for fighting crime and providing information to the public can be handled through Facebook,” said Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal. “As we researched the best practices for our page, the department organizers who spearheaded the project reached out to various law enforcement agencies around the nation to see what has been working for them. As we designed the page, it was important to push our image of being community-based and transparent.”

An important function of the page, according to its organizers, is combating crime since an exchange of information with the police department can take place through the page. “We are using our Facebook page as a tool in our crime-fighting efforts,” said Ridgeland Police Chief John Neal. ”It allows the community to provide information to us through a popular social media outlet. We encourage our residents that can, to provide assistance to us.”

Neal added, “We will make efforts to reach our citizens in a timely manner with events which affect the community and provide a broader sense of transparency within the department. Our followers will be made aware of incidents which affect their normal routines.” Thus, the Ridgeland Police Department will use Facebook to bring important and timely information to followers.

Facebook users may expect to see an assortment of posts, including officer recognition. “The good work being performed by the men and women of the Ridgeland Police Department deserves to be spotlighted,” said Neal.

Ridgeland Police aim to share a lighter side of the department with the public through Facebook. Neal said, “We will include a little humor to remind residents that the officers who are serving and protecting are normal people performing a difficult job.”

For users’ convenience, the Facebook page “About” section provides a directory of phone numbers within the police department. The Ridgeland Police Department reserves the right to delete comments for any reason. For more information about the Ridgeland Police Department Facebook page, call Chief John Neal at 601-856-2121.

Facebook RPD

Miss Mississippi Upper Elementary 2017 Presented with Proclamation

BrethreimNatalie Bretheim was presented with a proclamation from the Mayor for being crowned Miss Mississippi Upper Elementary 2017. Miss Bretheim is a 6th grader at Olde Towne Middle School. The presentation occurred at the August 16 Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting at Ridgeland City Hall. View the Natalie Bretheim Proclamation.

Alderman Scott Jones Recognized as Professional CMO Graduate

Alderman Scott Jones was recognized at a recent Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting for attaining designation as Professional Certified Municipal Official. The Certified Municipal Officials program offered by the Mississippi Municipal League is a voluntary program that utilizes existing opportunities such as conferences and special meetings along with specially crafted courses to provide meaningful, informative, and useful information on topics that will expand the elected official’s knowledge and capabilities.

Alderman Scott Jones was recognized at a recent Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting for graduating from the MML’s Certified Municipal Official Professional Development Program. Attaining Professional CMO is an honor and an accomplishment for elected officials.The Certified Municipal Officials program offered by the Mississippi Municipal League is a voluntary program that utilizes specially crafted courses to provide meaningful, informative, and useful information on topics that will expand the elected official’s knowledge and capabilities.

August eNewsletter

Download the eNewsletter: August 2016. Sign up to receive emails from the city at the top right corner of our website!
Aug 2016

Volunteer as an Interpretive Park Ranger

The Natchez Trace Parkway is seeking volunteers to work at the Parkway Information Cabin in Ridgeland and within the park. Please contact our local park ranger if interested. See Park Volunteer Flyer for more information.

Park Volunteer Flyer

 

Officer of the Month

Congratulations to Officer Ben Johnson for being recently recognized as Officer of the Month for the month of May. Officer Johnson’s actions are commendable and he is dedicated to keeping the residents of Ridgeland safe. L to R: Police Chief John Neal, Officer Ben Johnson, and Mayor Gene McGee at the July 5 Board Meeting.

Congratulations to Officer Ben Johnson for being recently recognized as Officer of the Month for the month of May. Officer Johnson’s actions are commendable and he is dedicated to keeping the residents of Ridgeland safe. L to R: Police Chief John Neal, Officer Ben Johnson, and Mayor Gene McGee at the July 5 Board Meeting.

MDEQ Awards Solid Waste Assistance Grant to Ridgeland

water bottle fillerThe City of Ridgeland has been awarded a solid waste assistance grant of $15,400 that will be used by the city for its recycling and waste reduction programs, according to a press release dated June 22, 2016 from The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

“The Solid Waste Assistance Grants support a variety of useful solid waste management activities for cities and counties, and this grant will assist Ridgeland’s efforts in improving their management of solid waste,” said Gary Rikard, MDEQ Executive Director.

Ridgeland will purchase two solar-powered compactors for recyclables and one water bottle filling station with the grant. ”The purpose for these purchases is to provide additional opportunities for residents to recycle and to encourage the use of refillable water bottles rather than using disposable ones,” said John M. McCollum, City of Ridgeland Public Works Director.

The new solar-powered compactors will be placed at Hite Wolcott Park to encourage more recycling at that facility. Four compactors are already installed at Freedom Ridge Park and one at the Multiuse Trailhead Facility.

The water bottle filling station will be installed at Friendship Park. While the City of Ridgeland has several water fountains along the multi-use trail, this will be the first dedicated water bottle-filler in the city.

City officials are enthusiastic about what the grant is allowing the city to do, not only for environmental stewardship but also for environmental awareness. The city has long been a leader in recycling but the water bottle-filler is a new way for Ridgeland to expand on its efforts to conserve resources.

Disposable plastic water bottles are known for polluting the environment. They also require the use of fossil fuels to make, and the plastic may be leaching chemicals into drinking water. A more environmentally-friendly and healthier choice is to reuse non-disposable water bottles such as those made of steel.

“We want to encourage all visitors to our parks to make use of the recycling compactors and the new water bottle-filler. If we all do our part, we can help to conserve our natural resources. It’s just the right thing to do,” said Mayor Gene McGee.

“At Ridgeland, we do not hesitate to help other cities grow their efforts in waste reduction and recycling by sharing information and providing guidance. Persons interested in learning more about our solid waste programs may reach me at 601-853-2027,” said McCollum. “A large part of our success is due to the grants that we have received from MDEQ. We want to thank them for supporting our programs and helping to make our efforts possible.”

Cities and counties may apply for Solid Waste Assistance Grants through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. These grants are used by local communities for programs to prevent and clean up unauthorized dumps; to aid in hiring local solid waste enforcement officers; for public education efforts on solid waste disposal and recycling; and to establish programs for the collection of white goods, bulky wastes and recyclables. Information about this grant program and other initiatives is available at www.deq.state.ms.us/solidwaste.

Old Agency Road Stabilization Project

A road stabilization project for a section of Old Agency Road will begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15. Repairs will be made to the roadway and the existing roadside creek will be relocated and stabilized to prevent road failure. Landscaping will be installed in accordance with Natchez Trace Parkway guidelines using native vegetation and replanting trees.

Old Agency Road will be closed to thru traffic from west of Whippoorwill Lane to east of Patterson’s Crossing for approximately four to six weeks. Please plan accordingly and take alternate routes. See map and diagram below. If you have any questions about the project, please call the City of Ridgeland Public Works Department at 601-853-2027.

OLD AGENCY ROAD CLOSURE DETOUR MAP-6 14 2016 2

Officers of the Month – Spring 2016

Officer Jason Haven was recognized as Officer of the Month for February at a Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting in March. His actions are commendable and indicative of a professional and motivated officer. L to R: Police Chief John Neal, Officer Jason Haven, and Mayor Gene McGee.

Officer Jason Haven was recognized as Officer of the Month for February at a Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting in March. His actions are commendable and indicative of a professional and motivated officer. L to R: Police Chief John Neal, Officer Jason Haven, and Mayor Gene McGee.

Officer Patrick Craig was recognized as Officer of the Month for March, recognized at the April 19 Board Meeting. His actions are commendable and indicative of a professional and motivated officer. L to R: Officer Patrick Craig and Mayor Gene McGee.

Officer Patrick Craig was recognized as Officer of the Month for March, recognized at the April 19 Board Meeting. His actions are commendable and indicative of a professional and motivated officer. L to R: Officer Patrick Craig and Mayor Gene McGee.

Officer Matthew Witt was recently recognized as the Officer of the Month for April, 2016. He showed dedication and commitment to duty in locating and returning a missing juvenile home safely. L to R: Police Chief John Neal, Officer Matthew Witt, and Mayor Gene McGee at the May 17 Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting.

Officer Matthew Witt was recently recognized as the Officer of the Month for April, 2016. He showed dedication and commitment to duty in locating and returning a missing juvenile home safely. L to R: Police Chief John Neal, Officer Matthew Witt, and Mayor Gene McGee at the May 17 Mayor and Board of Aldermen Meeting.