Police recruitment efforts are a success

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 13, 2003

Few services provided by the City of Selma affect the lives of its citizens as directly as does that provided by the Selma Police Department.

The degree of crime in any city is a reflection on the quality of life in that city.

As with many other cities, Selma has had its share of challenges in dealing with crime in recent years. One of the most troublesome of those challenges has to do with a chronic shortage of police officers.

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This paper has reported on the fact that Selma pays its officers less than do a number of other cities in the Central Alabama area. This, of course, only makes the job of attracting new officers that much more difficult. Why should prospective officers sign on with our police force when they can make more money doing the same job less than 50 miles away?

The city has addressed that problem as best it can given the current economic tenor of the times. Last year, the city implemented a 14-step pay plan it had previously committed to doing, thus bringing the pay police officers receive more in line with that of other city departments. Our mayor and city council are to be commended for taking this step.

Providing for the safety of our citizens should be a priority.

Police Chief Robert Green is also to be commended for making the recruitment of new officers a priority within his department. Since May of 2002, the Police Department has recruited 10 new officers. Tuesday, Green swore in the two newest officers.

While the department remains 10 officers shy of being at full force, things are much better than they were at this time last year. That’s good news.

Now let’s do our part to help. If there is a Neighborhood Watch in your area, volunteer to help. If there isn’t one, volunteer to help get one started.

Fighting crime is everyone’s job.