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City committee to consider extra safety measures

A fight outside a going-away party last weekend has the Selma City Council reviewing its rules for security at public buildings.

Mayor George Evans brought up the issue Tuesday during the city council meeting. Evans said he talked with the parents of those involved in Saturday’s melee. A fight broke out at a private party at the Carl Morgan Convention Center about 11 p.m. Saturday. Selma police responded to the call, but the fight was so intense, the police called the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department for help.

In the end police arrested five teenagers and charged them with various misdemeanor crimes.

“Nobody owned up to what happened,” Evans said. “My concern is there was not adequate security. There was one security officer there; there should have been four, in my opinion.”

The council Public Safety Committee meets today at 5 p.m. and is expected to discuss the issue. Council member Corey Bowie is chairman of the committee. Bowie said a number of issues will be considered by the committee.

Council member Bennie Ruth Crenshaw, who works with the Selma City Youth Ambassadors and hosts events for young people, said she is disturbed by Saturday’s events.

“These fights have not just started to occur,” she pointed out “We have various factions across the river and on the east and west side. But we talk about it as if it was a majority of our children, and it’s not.”

The best way to prevent fights, she said, is to have some basic rules that prevent youths from coming in and out of buildings during an event or from hanging around the outside.

“Once you’re out, you’re out. That’s it. You don’t let them hang out. It’s really just that simple,” she said.

Evans agreed with Crenshaw about the rules, but said he wants to ensure ample security is in place.

Crenshaw countered, “Put all the police out there you want to, but unless you deal with the parents, you won’t change the behavior.”