Fort Deposit residents demand professional policemen - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Fort Deposit residents demand professional policemen

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

FORT DEPOSIT, AL (WSFA) - There may have been a little heated debate.  But Fort Deposit residents made it clear in a meeting with the mayor and town council that they want upstanding police officers.

"We have good officers here now. What we would like to do is keep who we have and hire a good, fair chief for this small town," says Mattie Peterson.

Fort Deposit's police chief Chris West resigned to take another job.

Now, council members are left to fill the position and hire another patrol officer.

Residents like Mattie Peterson want to make sure whoever gets the job stays out of trouble themselves.

"I wanted to come here so I could voice my opinion about some of the things that have gone on in the past that need to be talked about and corrected," adds Peterson.

In the last year, two policemen have been arrested--accused of robbing drivers during traffic stops.

Residents have also complained about not seeing officers on the streets, how hard it is to reach anyone at the police department, and what's perceived as preferential treatment given to some residents.

"We've been a little disappointed in some things but we're not going to give up. Giving up is just like giving up on home. It's home," says Fort Deposit resident Michael Hare.

Mayor Fletcher Fountain says he's listening, and plans to give residents a voice in the hiring process.

Just knowing that is enough for folks like Peterson.

"At least we discussed things that we had questions about and they were answered and I feel better coming out of this meeting because I feel like we did accomplish something."

The council is currently running an ad in the local papers announcing the open police chief position.  The mayor says he's already received some applications. 

For now, the mayor will appoint someone already in the police department to act as chief until a new one is hired.

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