Fighting the neverending battle against crime

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Crime never stops. That’s why Selma’s Crime Task Force is on the job.

The task force met for the first time since Christmas on Thursday. It may have taken task force members a moment to get back into the crime-fighting mode, but that doesn’t mean they’ve slowed down.

The task force is currently working on creating smaller task forces for each of Selma’s eight wards. &uot;Each ward has its own problems, which are unique to the ward,&uot; Atchison said. &uot;At the smaller meetings they’ll identify specific issues that are problems.&uot;

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Atchison said he’d like all wards to have met before spring ends. One task force member, Tina Price, has already scheduled her Ward Six meeting.

The Ward Six crime task force will meet at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 1548 Legrande St., Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. Price noted that the public is invited to the meeting. &uot;The main voice to hear will be the people in the ward,&uot; she said.

The Ward Six meeting will assess the community’s strengths and weaknesses. &uot;We’ll determine what our top priorities are,&uot; Price said. &uot;I expect it’ll be safety.&uot;

Atchison said he thought the meetings would be catalysts for action for the Selma City Council and the police department. &uot;They’ll give the council a chance to learn about what’s going on in its wards, but it takes people to get involved,&uot; Atchison said.

Other goals of the task force includes the implementation of its recommendations and scheduling quarterly meetings between the force, Mayor James Perkins Jr. and Police Chief Robert Green.

Perkins created the task force after the city’s first town hall meeting on crime in October. At the second town hall meeting, the community heard the task force’s recommendations on how to curb crime.

Recommendations included supervisory powers over Green be delegated to Perkins and the institution of a youth curfew.

Atchison said that the curfew would be difficult to enforce, but it would give police officers another tool to use.