Use some common sense on police matters

Published 1:07 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

Residents of Selma who listened to the city council meeting on the radio last week tuned in to a good show that shows how fragile the relationship is between some department heads and the council members.

At the end of the meeting, Council President Dr. Geraldine Allen read a letter from some citizens in the Marshall Street area. The citizens complained their neighbors openly used and sold drugs, played loud music and “looked weird.” the citizens wanted something done.

Allen said she read the letter because constituents asked her to and she felt the obligation.

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Less than five minutes later, the council president had to apologize to the chief of police because her actions had killed an undercover police operation.

There will have to be a modicum of trust building on someone’s part, linking the city council and some department heads. This flap with the police department is one of the first public revelations of the tension that threatens to break the tenuous thread of cooperation promised by council members as they sought office no more than a year ago.

The better action in this case would have been for Allen to have called a private meeting with the police chief and mayor to see what might be happening.

We hope she’s learned her lesson and all may go forward.