FORT DEPOSIT, AL (WSFA) - Everyone wants to feel safe in their hometown, but residents in one local town say their way of life is being threatened. Recent crime has many people in the Fort Deposit area fearing for their safety and worring that their home or business may be targeted next. Now, residents are demanding answers from city leaders.
A robbery at a local car dealership is what some are calling the last straw when it comes to crime. "We're a town where you can leave your doors open, your keys in your car...you didn't have to have an alarm system," said Fort Deposit resident Harriette Means. "You weren't afraid."
It was at B.J.'s Auto Sale that someone walked in with a gun and demanded money. The suspect forced a worker to the floor, but it seems the owner, Sammy Bailey, wasn't going without a fight. It's believed he struggled with the shooter and was shot in the back. "For someone to come into an owner's place and get gunned down over what's there's...that wrong," explains resident Kenneth Roper.
Part of the city's crime problem is it's number of crime fighters. Currently, there is only one full-time officer and that's the Chief of Police. Fort Deposit has about four part-time officers. According to city councilman Albert Means, it's hard to keep officers because of low pay.
"With this coming up we've got to make some hard decisions on what we are willing to pay for Albert Means is on the city council."
Those hard decisions will mean doing without or paying more for city services. City councilman Means says the choices aren't easy, "If we are to pay for this police department we're going to have to make some cuts and make some changes...in the other departments...in order to get a full time department."
That's what Roper wants to hear; the victim was his brother-in-law. Roper says as a tax paying citizen, the folks of Fort Deposit should get the protection they need.
Sammy Bailey is still in the hospital recovering from his wounds.
Residents will have a chance to get some answers at a town hall meeting at the Fort Deposit town hall complex.