Captain Billy Morgan, of the Selma Police Department, speaks to students at Payne Elementary School about living safely in Selma. -- Rick Couch

Morgan stresses safety

Published 9:16pm Tuesday, February 7, 2012

For about four decades, Selma Police Department Capt. Billy Morgan has been an important part of the lives of young people in Selma.

In that time, Morgan has appeared in classrooms of 25 elementary schools teaching more than 8,000 students the difference between right and wrong, how to play safely, and encouraging them to view police officers as their friends through the Safe Living in Selma program.

Tuesday, Morgan made several new friends when he dropped in on students at Payne Elementary School to stress these same principals once more.

The visit, Morgan told the students, is geared toward two primary goals.

“When you leave this program, we want you to be better prepared to protect yourself in our city,” he said. “Number two, we want to emphasize to you that a police officer is your friend.”

Throughout the program, Morgan stressed some of the new dangers that are a threat to young people in Selma. Among them, he said, are online predators. With an increase in people using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to keep a close watch on online activity.

“Never put any of your personal information on there,” he said. “Predators can come in all forms. They might not look like you think they will. A lot of times they will do things to make you think they are cool to lure people in.”

The Safe Living in Selma program began in 1978, Morgan said, and has constantly had to adapt to changing dangers of the city.

“All down through the years our goal has been to let young people know the dangers, ever-changing dangers, they are facing out there,” he said. “There are things like online predators that were unheard of years ago. We share stories from incident reports that have occurred in the city.”

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