Selma needs solutions to crime problem

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2004

When it comes to violence in Selma, failure is not an option.

This is the way the majority if not all of the citizens of Selma feel.

According to a press release Mayor James Perkins released on Friday, he feels the same way.

The talk around town has not been about what industry is coming to Selma or how good a Christmas season Selma’s retailers had.

The talk has been about the crime.

People are concerned about going out at night to shop, whether it be to buy new clothes or simply to pick up a gallon of milk from one’s favorite convenience store.

After three murders this year, Perkins’ statement has come and with it come consequences.

Perkins was quoted as saying that the task force suggestions from last year needed implementation.

Perkins went on to say that if anyone believes that there is something more important on this Earth than the sanctity of life, he felt sorry for them.

The task force presented its suggestions to the City Council in December.

The Times-Journal reported that some council members felt there were other priorities rather than implementing these suggestions.

One suggestion, which was a curfew, is being handled by Selma City Attorney Jimmy Nunn.

Nunn is looking at other cities that currently incorporate this policy in order to adopt a similar one for Selma.

Perkins also noted that the task force is scheduled to meet this week in order to follow up on the recommendations.

He also asked for other citizens’ groups to increase their street presence.

What if we increased our street presence by putting more police officers on patrol?

The Times-Journal suggests that as the City Council reviews the task force suggestions, it also review the number of police officers that are staffed for Selma.

Maybe it is time to invest more in the department.

What if Police Chief Robert Green put a plan together showing how increasing the number of officers would help reduce crime?

Two things could come of this:

1.

A realization that the department is understaffed based on the number of crimes rather than on the number of citizens in the city.

2. A realization that the department could be more efficient and manage the officers better with better plans.

Either way, we should not overlook the dominant force on the streets, the SPD.

Who would scare the drug offenders and violent crime offenders away, an angry elderly woman or a trained police officer?