Selma to examine new police center

Published 10:31 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SELMA — An emergency agencies operation center may be in this city’s future.

But there’s plenty of work to do before the city realizes a new headquarters for its police and other emergency departments.

The initial talk began Wednesday afternoon during a meeting of the Selma City Council Public Safety Committee. Dr. Ralph E. Ioimo, a public safety consultant and professor at Auburn University, presented an overview of what Selma could expect if the city decided to try to build an operation center.

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The present public safety building houses the police department and municipal court. The building is in disrepair, although the city has replaced the roof of the building and painted the walls.

Dr. Ioimo cited the structure’s deficits when he wrote an assessment of the Selma Police Department nearly two years ago.

Selma Mayor George Evans and police chief William Riley III asked Ioimo to put together a contract to help the city realize a new public safety operations center.

But nearly two weeks ago, a majority of the Selma City Council said it wanted clarification of a proposed contract, which would cost about $1,700 per month.

Dr. Ioimo laid out what he planned to do.

“I didn’t put dates to it, but I can put times to it but this is what I plan to do,” he said.

The consultant showed those members of the council present the availability of funding through the Department of Homeland Security .

Most of the large sums are already earmarked, Dr. Ioimo said, but enough grant money remains to pay for a plan, then submit the plan after the next round of funding. Dr. Ioimo said the process of developing a plan would take a couple of months.