SPD officers should be commended

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 13, 2006

To the Editor:

Members of the Selma Police Department’s Narcotics and Investigative Divisions, along with the support of the Patrol Division worked tirelessly conducting the initial investigations leading to the recent large scale multi- agency drug raid on St. Phillips Street. Selma officers spent months on the covert operation and should be given the accolades that they well deserve. Operations of this scale require long hours and officers make insurmountable sacrifices being away from their families and placing themselves in dangerous environments. Danger comes in this line of work; nevertheless, the men and women who choose to protect our community and its citizens should be commended at every available opportunity.

I would like to express my concerns of what I believe to be intentional efforts of some governmental officials to fail to recognize the involvement and leadership provided by these officers to bring closure to this case.

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Comments made recently by these governmental officials are neither true and in my opinion are unjustified. Attempts of this nature negatively affect the morale of our officers; however, as Chief of Police, I will continue to forge forward in supporting the men and women of our police department and make every effort possible to ensure the community is made aware of their efforts and successes in serving mankind and safeguarding the lives and property of all citizens.

The Selma Police Department initiated this investigation in 2005 and after determining the magnitude of the

illegal sale of drugs and firearms involved. Federal agencies were asked to come in to provide assistance.

Involvement of the Federal agency would also result in prosecution on a federal level versus state level so that

the illegal drug pipeline could be traced to its source.

With any investigation, in order to be successful, elements of the investigation must remain confidential and

shared only on a need-to-know basis. We don’t ever want to give the criminals a blueprint of our operations.

Training, experience, and good old fashioned police work are the keys to success, and our officers work day in and day out to provide for the safety of Selma’s citizens.

We are making more arrests than ever before. Major crimes are down and with the arrests connected with the rash of burglaries; our non-violent

crimes should also be reduced. I stand firmly behind the men and women of the Selma Police Department and I am proud of their efforts.

Jimmy Martin

Selma Police Chief