CENTER POINT, Ala. (WIAT) — The city of Center Point heard the public’s concerns about safety at the local community center Tuesday night. Mayor Bobby Scott said a recent feasibility study showed the city could not afford it’s own police department.
Residents told leaders there have been problems with gun violence, loud music, traffic, and dogs like pitbulls roaming in the city. While they are disappointed the city can’t afford it’s own police department, they hope city leaders will take their concerns on safety seriously.
For nearly 28 years, Pat Harper has called the Center Point area her home; a home she said isn’t the same.
“The community has changed so much since I’ve been here,” Harper said.
She said if things don’t change soon when it comes to safety, she worries more and more of her neighbors could leave.
“If you want to move, then that’s your choice. But to almost forced to move, I don’t think that’s right. And a lot my neighbors have done that. Moved,” Harper said.
Another concern some residents have is call times with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. According to Mayor Scott, the county gives them 6 deputies to cover their population, which is close to 16,000. One woman at the meeting believes the county needs to do a better job.
“I’ve called dispatch 3 or 4 times. And had to name drop in order to get them to come to my home. And I’m somewhat concerned with that,” the woman said.
“But they cannot do everything. They cannot,” Harper said.
Mayor Scott said they do have plans and ideas in place, but they want the community involved with the public safety process.
“Right now, the plan is to enhance our Public Safety Department with the assistance of Jefferson County,” Scott said.
Because everyone wants the city to be safe.
“Making sure that when you get up in the morning, you’re able to sit down with your family, eat breakfast, go to work, and come back home and feel safe while doing all of those things,” Scott said.
But Harper said it’s going to take a village to achieve that goal.
“And that’s what it’s going to take, the neighborhood, neighbors getting involved,” Harper said.
The city will hold another meeting on September 28th at 6 p.m. This meeting will be virtual.