Officer stress worries council

Published 7:30pm Wednesday, June 5, 2013

After a confirmed murder-suicide case involving off-duty Selma Police Officer Dwight Moorer, the Selma City Council is searching for ways to relieve stress from the police department. 

Moorer, 28, reportedly shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, her stepfather and then turned the gun on himself, committing suicide Sunday, June 2. Moorer was a five-year veteran of the Selma Police Department.

In a public safety committee meeting Tuesday, council members Susan Keith, Bennie Ruth Crenshaw, Michael Johnson and Samuel Randolph discussed ways the council could alleviate stress from local law enforcement.

“We need to find a way to help bring stability to the young men and women who protect us on a daily basis,” Crenshaw said, and recommended the council speak with Selma Chief of Police William T. Riley on programs the city could offer.

In the past, Keith said the city sponsored allotted time each month for the police department to get together and speak freely with one another about work, and anything that may be causing stress. This is something, she said, the council may consider bringing back.

“We have a fine department and we have some fine police officers,” Keith said. “We need to support the people who we depend on to have our backs.”

Council members agreed to continue to brainstorm ways to support the police department and work with officials to offer programs. Randolph voiced a need for the council to meet with Riley soon to see how the council, as a governmental body, can support the department more.

“The majority of our police officers are great officers — they want to enforce the law,” Crenshaw said. “What we need to do is make those officers know that they’re appreciated and we need to thank them for the job that they do, because it is a stressful job.”

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