More police protection needed

Published 12:34 am Sunday, October 11, 2009

A safe community is a thriving community.

The Selma Police Department is hamstrung, working short-staffed with as many officers on the road as can be spared.

Chief William T. Riley III has explained the department needs more people on the streets. He has allocated for more officers to patrol in the evening because that’s when most crime occurs.

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But something is terribly wrong.

Drive down many streets across the city and you’ll see drug deals going on out in the open. One doesn’t have to drive far down Broad Street — across the street from the Shell station — to see the vials and short pieces of plastic wrap that are indicative of very public drug usage.

Police reports are filled with burglaries and theft related to the drug problem in the city.

Additionally police have to deal with the fights and confrontations that are part of frustration, either because of the drug culture in the city or the mere lack of respect for authority.

This week the Selma City Council will consider its budget for the upcoming year. The police department needs more officers on the streets. We need to feel safe when we go to the stores, to or from work or in our homes.

Many in Selma do not have this feeling.

It is up to the council to provide the wherewithal for our safety. More officers will help.