Thoughts on violence in our city

Published 9:06 pm Saturday, April 9, 2016

It seems the violence in Selma continues to increase in spite of slogans and calls for it to end.

There are any number of reasons for it, but when all is said and done, it all begins at home.

The ideal home is for a husband (man) and wife (woman) to be in it working together raising their offspring the way God intended it to be.

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If the teaching and training doesn’t start at home and early on in life, the results are predictable.

The nation has undergone an assault on the family unit (marriage of one man and one woman) as never before over the past few years.

In addition, we have had high officials sanctioning bad behavior in siding with individuals against the police, unconstitutional Supreme Court rulings and a justice department refusing to enforce laws passed by Congress. In a lawless society you reap chaos.

A lot of what is happening now can be attributed to incidents and reactions to incidents involving police over the past few years.

“Where there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community.” — Benjamin Rush, 1788, founding father

Turning to the situation in Selma, two city council members have been in the paper recently talking about the issue of violence in the community.

Their perspective is certainly welcomed, but no solutions to the problem were presented.

Perhaps there are none, but I agree it is not a time for finger pointing, for there is certainly enough blame to be shared.

Even the mayor and city council aren’t free from a shared portion of it.

You wonder how many police chiefs do we go through before the message gets through that the entry level pay of the police department is woefully inadequate to attract and then retain police officers.

Public safety should be top priority yet it seems the St. James Hotel is getting all the money and attention.

As of December 16, 2015, the department had 45 sworn officers. My understanding is the department would need 64 officers to be considered at full employment.

Are more police the answer to all the problems?

Probably not, in and of itself, but it certainly could help having more boots patrolling the streets and neighborhoods.

If we want safer streets and neighborhoods, we have to be more tolerant of police and their tactics to curb violence and keep the public safe.

It is difficult for police to do the job needed to be done handcuffed themselves.

I’m not speaking of police roughing up citizens without provocation or cause either.

But, they need the flexibility to detain and question suspicious activity or behavior and frisk for illegal substances or weapons if probable cause exists.

There is no black or white issue here, it is a issue of safety for all.