Seminary Police Department's Mercy Program sees success - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Seminary Police Department's Mercy Program sees success

Seminary Police Chief Michael Kelly and Chaplain Justin Corley Seminary Police Chief Michael Kelly and Chaplain Justin Corley
Ecstasy and Marijuana found on Seminary woman photo credit: Seminary Police Department Ecstasy and Marijuana found on Seminary woman photo credit: Seminary Police Department
SEMINARY, MS (WDAM) -

The Seminary Police Department is starting a movement to help drug users get help with addiction.

The program is called the Mercy Project, and it allows drug users to bring drugs or paraphernalia to the police station without getting charged.

Four people are currently going through the program and one man graduated on Friday.

The newest member is a Seminary woman who was pulled over with narcotics and paraphernalia inside her car on Monday night.

She told the police department that she needed help with her addiction and is now getting help.

The police department is keeping her identity anonymous for this reason.

“She was in desperate need of help, she was at a place in her life where she needed someone to intervene,” Chief Michael Kelly said. 

The police department assists these people by pairing them with the Seminary Police Chaplain for counseling and then helping them find a rehab.

“Our duty is not to just put people them in jail and throw away their key and forget about them. We understand that this is a person’s a daughter, son, husband and wife,” Kelly said. 

However, Kelly said if people go through the program and get caught with drugs again, they will get charged.

“Sometimes we have to have tough love and say 'alright we tried to offer mercy but now you’re just going to have to go to jail,'” Kelly said. 

A man who struggled with meth addiction graduated from the program on Friday. Chaplain Justin Corley met with the man and said he has seen a huge change in his life.

 “To see him today look so much better and to feel so much better is worth everything we do,” Corley said. 

The police department said the program is not just limited to people in Seminary and that anyone can ask for help.

The department's goal is to create a non-profit that offers scholarships for people who go through the program.

The police department is also looking for more volunteers to help out with counseling.

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