Jurisdiction a gray area around Valley Grande

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Knowing where Valley Grande’s town limits begin and end is one thing. Knowing where Selma’s police jurisdiction stops is something else.

Questions about where the police jurisdiction ends and where Valley Grande begins has caused the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department to take a closer look at a map of the town. Sheriff Harris Huffman Jr., Chief Deputy Randy Pugh and Valley Grande Mayor Herb Story covered a large table in the Sheriff’s office Monday morning with a map detailing Valley Grande’s town limits.

Huffman noted that the main reason for examining the map was to ensure his department didn’t duplicate the Selma Police Department’s services. People living within Selma’s police jurisdiction should call Selma’s police department. Those in the county should contact Huffman’s office.

Copying Valley Grande’s map and keeping it in the Sheriff’s department will aid the office in knowing where the two lines meet.

According to Huffman, getting a copy of the map is the latest stage in a series of events that began with the City of Selma receiving a letter from J. Doyle Fuller, the attorney representing Valley Grande residents in favor of incorporation. Mayor James Perkins Jr. brought Fuller’s letter to the attention of the Selma City Council at its special called meeting on Dec. 18.

On Dec. 19 Perkins stated in a memorandum that Selma would no longer provide fire and police protection to Valley Grande.

The Sheriff’s department isn’t the only entity in the process of updating its records. According to Dick Bean, administrative coordinator with the Dallas County Emergency Management Agency, the EMA’s database is being updated. All addresses in the database have an emergency service number, or ESN, that tells the E-911 dispatcher which department is responding to which emergency.

Bean said all addresses in Valley Grande must have their ESN changed. &uot;And that has to be done on an individual basis,&uot; he added.

When asked why the updating process didn’t begin when Valley Grande incorporated, Bean said his office wasn’t officially notified that Selma would stop police and fire services until about two weeks ago. &uot;That’s when we started updating the database,&uot; he said.