PSET will help clean up Selma downtown

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 21, 2003

We’re not sure why it took so long, but the Selma Police and Fire departments have conjured up a great way to curb downtown crime and rowdiness.

Patrol the area.

The two entities have formed the Public Safety Enforcement Team (PSET) to enforce drinking age laws, curb criminal loitering, identify building code violations, and alleviate fighting and vandalism.

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As Selma Police Chief Robert Green says, &uot;We got complaints, and it’s about time we did something about it.&uot;

We couldn’t have said it better.

The PSET will concentrate much of its efforts on nightclubs in the downtown area, but won’t rule out investigations of other night spots in its jurisdiction.

We applaud their efforts.

Over the past few months, several violent incidents have occurred in the downtown area. Wander up and down Water Avenue any Friday or Saturday night, and you’ll probably be greeted by loud music, drunken revelry and maybe a fight or two.

It’s unfortunate that an area with so much potential has to put up with this garbage. The PSET should make a long-overdue positive impact &045;&045; one we hope results in fewer fights, less crime, less noise and more class.

We certainly aren’t against drinking or having fun in Selma, but we get cranky when the partying infringes on others’ rights to a peaceful night. Drunken buffoons have no place on Selma’s streets, and they sure as heck shouldn’t be spoiling an ethnically rich and beautiful downtown core.

The PSET, though, should also mind its own P’s and Q’s. It’s going to take some fast-thinking, insightful police and fire department officers to know when to lower the boom and when to back off. Violating people’s rights will only make a sad situation worse.

In the meantime, though, we have confidence in our officers and their ability to clean up the area and gain respect at the same time.