Collier acknowledges public safety issue won’t be fixed overnight, but steps are being taken

Published 8:46 pm Monday, March 6, 2017

Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier spoke to a large audience Friday at the Dallas County Family Resource Center and he hit on a variety of topics.

However, his main message was clear — the Selma Police Department is doing everything it can to slow crime in the city.

Selma has had just one homicide thus far in 2017, leaving the city on pace for about half a dozen. We can all agree that even one is too many, but we can also all be thankful the pace has at least slowed after 17 in 2016.

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Collier started his job in late January, so he’s only been in place for about a month. He acknowledged the city’s public safety issues Friday and admitted that it’s not going to be fixed overnight.  He’s completely right. It’d be unfair to expect anyone to come in and make that big of a difference in such a short time.

However, positive changes are already taking place. We’re not sure if Collier had a hand in it, but the police department was videoed playing football with a group of young children Saturday morning. Those are the kinds of things that officers are going to have to do if the crime problem in Selma is ever going to get under control.

Children need to get to know police officers at an early age, that way when something does happen there’s already a relationship in place.

For whatever reason, there’s often times a disconnect between the police and people in the city they serve.

It shouldn’t be normal for our children to hear gunfire in the middle of the night, or for a fight to take place in a public setting, as one did Saturday before a basketball game.

“We didn’t get where we are as far as a public safety issue overnight, and we are not going to fix it overnight, but we are going to take a bite of that apple every day,” Collier said. “That’s what I tell my command staff every day.”

That’s all we can ask for — progress, one day at a time.