SPD needs boost, reminder

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 10, 2006

The idea of a unanimous vote from the Selma City Council on the purchase of 11 new police cars last week was a welcome one.

What is needed now is more cooperation to help bring our police department, its building and equipment up to standards.

The effort is bound to boost the morale of a group of men and women sworn to protect and serve who have apparently been divided. The internal rifts have led veteran officers to leave and others marking their calendars.

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Before each patrol, officers are checking off items in their motor vehicle inventory that may or may not be in the vehicle or not in good condition. We can only trust officers have everything they need and are given the essential miscellaneous items to be of substantial help should the unspeakable of five years ago today were to ever come calling as close as Broad Street.

Professionalism and the craft should insist officers respect their leadership and continue to bond as a unit. Officers should constantly be mindful they are our first line of defense against tyranny. They should also be mindful the families and households of Selma depend on their patrols to secure livelihoods, whether they’re businesses, rented properties or homes bought and paid for.

It has been the interaction with area residents who have vocalized what they have observed through exchanges with SPD officers. The citizenry has observed police cars in need of repair. They have observed officers patrolling in cars without backup shotguns, with cracked windshields, with spotlights that don’t work and without video cameras in their vehicles. The citizens, one must imagine, can only be pleased with the recent effort to give our men and women in blue what they need to keep the public safe and protect themselves in the line of duty. However, complaints of citizens having been treated rudely cannot go unnoticed. And finally, may the citizens understand the officers’ role is to enforce the law. Officers, be mindful we are all innocent until proven guilty.

Respect is due to all.