Council addresses crime

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Crime affects everyone &045; even City Hall.

Mayor James Perkins Jr. told Selma City Council members at their Monday meeting that he had been inundated with telephone calls about crime.

Because of the public’s concern, Perkins said he would schedule a town hall meeting on crime Oct. 23 at 5:30 p.m. at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center.

According to Perkins, this isn’t the first time he’s suggested a meeting on crime. Two years ago Perkins asked for a meeting and then backed down when some voiced concern the meeting would only focus on attacking law enforcement authorities.

However, Perkins said he was resurrecting the call for a public forum. &uot;If I have to go, I’ll go by myself,&uot; Perkins said.

Councilwoman Nancy Sewell said she saw the meeting as an attack on the Selma Police Department, but Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw disagreed.

Crenshaw said that someone could ask a third-grade class to identify one drug house in an area and that everyone’s hands would be raised. If children can identify drug houses, Crenshaw asked, why can’t police?

Councilman James Durry, though, said that those in the community needed to be responsible for their actions. If children know where drug houses are, adults should also know.

Perkins said that he wasn’t talking about the police department, but was instead discussing all of law enforcement. &uot;I’m not interested in picking a fight with the police department,&uot; Perkins said. &uot;If crime is the issue, we’ve got to deal with it. If management is the issue, we’ve got to deal with that, too.&uot;

In other matters the council:

Voted 6 – 1 on a resolution to not re-appoint former Finance Director Vickie Locke to her position. Locke was placed on 30-days paid leave following a Aug. 25 executive session. Council members Durry, Sam Randolph, Jean Martin, Sewell, Crenshaw and Evans voted in favor. Councilwoman Rita Sims Franklin voted against.

Council members B.L. Tucker and Glenn Sexton weren’t present.

Heard from City Attorney Jimmy Nunn about a lawsuit concerning the Friends of Forrest. According to Nunn, the Friends of Forrest have filed notice of their appeal to the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals.

The federal claim along with three state claims were dismissed by a federal judge in August.