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Citizens voice crime concerns

By By Adam Prestridge
More than a dozen citizens voiced their concerns over the recent rash of crime throughout the City of Atmore during Tuesday morning’s council meeting.Mayor Howard Shell, who addressed the citizens for more than 15 minutes, spoke of the city’s efforts in controlling the crime including beefing up the night police patrols from two to three officers to at least eight and up to 11.
Most of the citizens present are residents of S. Pensacola Avenue where they were rattled earlier this month when a stray bullet struck a neighbor’s home. The bullet shattered one of the front windows to Brad and Ashley Trawick’s home located at 704 S. Pensacola Ave. Fortunately, no one was injured in the shooting, but it brought forth grave concern in the community.
Shell noted all the activities the city makes available to youth including the youth baseball and football leagues and the city pools, as well as, the activities at the YMCA, Atmore Family Life Center and various church organizations.
The consensus of the group was that a small percentage of the youth and young adults in Atmore are the ones causing the problems throughout town including shooting guns, stealing, fighting and drinking. The group also felt like parents are the ones that should be punished for their children’s actions.
Hooper Matthews III agreed adding that most parents’ involvement with their children begins to dwindle as they grow from T-ball age to teenager.
Johnson added that she sits up at night listening to her police scanner and recognizes the officers’ efforts to control the crime, noting that policing starts at home.
Robert Hendrix also spoke out asking if there are programs that force parents and the youth causing trouble can attend in hopes of resolving the issues.
Shell was unable to give Hendrix any examples of programs.
The meeting concluded with no resolution to the problems made.
In other business, the council: