COPS helping already

Published 12:31 am Friday, August 14, 2009

On Thursday a couple of new recruits became Selma police officers.

This raises the total employed by the Selma Police Department to 53 sworn-in officers.

These two guys won’t hit the streets right away.

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They have important skills to learn at the academy. Then, they’ll team up with a veteran officer to learn the particulars in Selma.

(Anyone who doubts the value of this learning should ask Jonathan Fank, a rookie Selma officer who earlier this week used his police training to save a woman after she was discovered in the Alabama River near The City Marina.)

The probability is Selma wouldn’t have signed on these two officers so soon this year if it had not received a COPS grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The money won’t arrive until 2010, but there’s enough in the till to switch some line items to pay these guys until the new budget year begins in October.

A key point in a police study conducted about two years ago: Get more officers on the streets.

That’s exactly what city officials and Police Chief William Riley III are doing with the help of this grant.

This is stimulus money at work in our town.