MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's been a busy day in West Montgomery. The Montgomery Police Department set up shop on the west side of town, just next door to the WSFA 12 News studios in fact, and plans to stay here until the crime rate drops.
The West Montgomery Police precinct was at full capacity Thursday executing its third saturation point in 8 months.
Officers say the mobile command post on Court Street isn't for show. Major Terry Jett says they're setting up, kicking down doors and serving arrest warrants for three reasons.
"We have problems with guns, drugs and gangs," he explained.
While most businesses in the Cloverland Shopping Center are happy about the new setup, folks like LaToya Ackron aren't.
"We were riding down Court Street, not speeding," she said. "I got pulled over because I drive a Crown Vic[toria] [a car commonly used by police departments]. That's why. I just don't understand why the West Side?"
But Ackron isn't the only driver with blue lights in her rearview mirror. Dozens of officers are writing tickets and strictly enforcing the speed limit in West Montgomery; hoping their presence alone will deter crime.
"People are firing into homes, firing at each other," said one person.
So far, IGA manager Gary Robinson says its already working. "It does seem quieter, there aren't as many people just walking across the parking lot," he admitted.
He says the police-packed parking lot is a welcomed site and gives officers an open invitation to this busy West Montgomery business at anytime.
They can come back whenever they want to, I'd be glad to have them," Robinson said.
Officers wrapped up the first day of their community policing operation with more than 300 citations and 26 arrests. Some were for misdemeanors, others were for felonies.