Council, mayor must proceed with caution on SPD complaint

Published 11:57 am Friday, April 2, 2021

The recent letter penned by unnamed officers of the Selma Police Department (SPD), which called into question SPD Chief Kenta Fulford’s capacity to “adequately lead” the department, must be read with a cautious eye, particularly by those in power capable of taking action to remove Fulford from his post, as the letter requests.

First and foremost, one can rarely – if ever – trust any allegations made in an unsigned document.

Indeed, if Fulford’s missteps were so egregious and there exists no political motive behind the push for his removal, then  why would officers operating in good faith not attach their names to the petition?

Further, however, is the fact that the letter lacks any specific allegations – it never once mentions a specific instance in which Fulford’s leadership caused harm to an officer or impeded the work of the department – it only says that officers’ “willpower” has been tested and that “[morale] has plummeted” and that Fulford has “displayed dishonesty.”

With no details, how can leaders honestly remove the chief from his position on the merits of an unsigned document void of evidence or even firm assertions?

If the Selma City Council and Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. intend to handle this matter properly, an outside investigation of Fulford’s work as chief should be undertaken – we cannot simply take the word of unknown officers making as-yet unsubstantiated claims void of detail.

If this is not done, and a move is made to remove Fulford from his post without an investigation, then the citizens of Selma can be assured that the fix was in from the beginning.