Police prepare for large crowds

Published 7:20pm Friday, March 2, 2012

With thousands of people from around the country dawning on Selma for the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee, Selma Police are taking steps to ensure that everyone is safe during the celebration.

The department is beefing up security in order to make sure safety is a top priority for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

“During the Jubilee time, one of the things that we always do is increase the number of officers that we’re going to have available to us,” said Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley. “What it does is it allows more officers in the area and in the city, so that we can make sure that the city is as safe as possible.”

Riley said Selma Police will be increasing the number of shifts working during celebration.

On a regular day, about seven officers work a shift, but that number will double, and in some cases triple, for Jubilee.

“During the Jubilee time, we’ll bring in an additional shift, which may double or triple that number depending on the day and the number of events that are going on at a particular time,” Riley said. “We may have officers that are guarding certain functions.”

Riley said due to the attendance of many high-profile individuals, Selma Police will also be working in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies.

“We also will have different law enforcement agencies such as the Capital Police and other federal agencies that will be here during the Jubilee because of the important guests that will be in our city,” Riley said. “We’ll work very closely with them and state police and other local law enforcement agencies. The whole goal is to have a strong law enforcement presence in the city and surrounding areas during the Jubilee celebration.”

Increasing the number of officers is one precaution being taken for security during the Jubilee celebration, but Riley said police also encourage the public to be aware of their surroundings and pay close attention to their belongings and children.

“One of the major precautions that we take is to have as many law enforcement agents out here as possible during this whole weeklong event, and another thing is that, when talking to the public, we want them to always be aware of their surroundings,” Riley said.

Ultimately, Riley said the increased security is aimed at making the event as safe as possible, so that those attending can have as much fun as possible.

“We just want people to be aware and use safe measures, so they can have a safe and productive Jubilee,” Riley said. “Safety is priority one, and we just want everyone to come and have a safe and happy Jubilee.”

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