The public has waited long enough

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 24, 2007

THE ISSUE: The study report on the Selma Police Department is taking a long time to materialize.

During Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor James Perkins replied, when asked by Councilman Cecil Williamson, that the long awaited study on the Selma Police Department should be released to city officials &8220;any day now.&8221;

Pardon us if we’re a bit skeptical, but haven’t the citizens of Selma heard that before? Like the obligatory statement &8220;the check is in the mail,&8221; citizens have been told that the report, compiled by Public Safety Consultants, Inc. at a cost to the city of $48,000, would be completed and available to city officials &8220;any day now,&8221; but after months of waiting, we’ve heard nothing &045; unless you count the many empty promises regarding the report’s release.

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We’re beginning to wonder if there is a reason the report is taking longer than we were told it would take to be released. Could it be that the mayor doesn’t want it released, therefore he’s sitting on it until what he considers to be the right time? Maybe that’s not the case, but the continual delays make us wonder.

In case you’ve forgotten with the passage of time, the report was commissioned in early summer as a way to determine why the SPD was continually losing qualified officers while other officers were making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Selma’s PD has many, many qualified and caring officers, but with their ranks thinned considerably due to poor leadership, lack of vision and in-fighting, there is only so much they can do &045; or put up with.

Mr. Mayor, they have waited long enough. The citizens have waited long enough. It’s time to pull back the curtain and make the contents of this report known to those who, ultimately, will benefit from what lies within it.

We would also strongly urge the full, unedited contents of the report be released to the public. After all, it was the public that paid for it.