Let us implement task force’s findings

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 2, 2003

The crime task force has met, deliberated and presented its findings. We need to take notice.

The task force was created to study the crime issue in Selma. It came about because of the city’s first town hall meeting on crime Oct. 23. Last week Mayor James Perkins Jr. said he didn’t know what the task force would recommend at Monday’s town hall meeting on crime, but he added that whatever was suggested would be implemented.

Those suggestions have now been given. We can only hope Selma has begun traveling down the road to crime relief.

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Task force co-chairs Barbara Brown and Billy Atchison stood before Selmians Monday night and explained the task force’s recommendations, which were broken into three categories – community, judicial and city government actions. The presentation was concise and explained well.

All it needs now is implementation.

Recommendations included a proper chain of command between city government and Police Chief Robert Green, higher bonds and a curfew for children 17-years-old and younger.

“A continuous focus on community care, respect and communication between the city council, mayor’s office and police department is vital in order to have a safe, prosperous and healthy community,” Atchison said.

We believe Selma is ready to see that statement become reality.

Selma has seen 10 violent deaths this year. Regardless of whether it’s an aberration or a sign of times, it needs to stop.

Our government and police department, though, can only do so much. The reduction of Selma’s crime is a responsibility that lies with all of us. Members of the crime task force took the time to hammer out Monday’s recommendations, and for that we thank them.

Now it’s our turn.

It is not enough to point fingers and demand that someone else take responsibility for violent deaths and rising crime. Every Selmian must be willing to do his part to stop not only the murders, but the burglaries, robberies, rapes and all crimes perpetrated in our city.

Because it is our city, and we deserve to live in a safe environment.

Let’s do something about it.