Selma Police Chief, mayor talks department upgrades

Published 9:17 pm Thursday, July 19, 2018

The city of Selma has a shopping list of things to upgrade the city’s police department.

Selma Chief of Police Spencer Collier and Selma Mayor Darrio Melton both spoke at the Ward 7 meeting on Wednesday at Ward Chapel AME Church. Ward 7 Councilwoman Jannie Thomas organized the meeting.

Melton told the 30 Ward 7 residents in attendance that public safety is a key issue for city officials. Residents are concerned about the high number of shootings in their neighborhood.

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“If we can have a system in place, we can serve you more effectively,” Melton said. “We need more resources.”

One of Melton’s goals is to increase the police department members and purchase new police cars. The Selma Police Department currently has 55 police officers and Melton wants that number increased to 70.

Melton said a budget will be presented to the City Council.  Adding more police officers will be included.

“We need to have the staff and technology in place,” Melton said. “We’re trying to add 15 more police cars.”

Collier, who was sworn in as Selma’s Police Chief on Jan. 30, 2017, agreed.

“When I got here, we had 38 officers, we’ve gone up to 55,” Collier said. “The mayor’s pushing for 70. We need to get there.”

Collier believes new cars also are a necessity for the department.

“Vehicles are breaking down when we are chasing suspects,” Collier said. “Some police cars need to get jumped off.”

Adding red light cameras at every intersection and purchasing a pole camera is also high on Collier’s list.

“We need funding to upgrade technology,” Collier said. “A city our size needs a pole camera. We’re borrowing pole cameras from Montgomery and Tuscaloosa.”

Collier proposed going to the Citizen’s Review Board. It’s a process where a group of citizens would review citizens’ complaints about the conduct of police officers and give a recommendation about what the city should do.

One thing the police department will have soon is Intelligence-led policing. It’s a law enforcement system that uses data and crime intelligence to support objective, informed decision making to maximize police efficiency.

“Intelligence-led policing is an absolute homerun,” Collier said.