Opelika Crime Commission looks for way to strengthen community

City investigated its first homicide of 2019 this week

Opelika City Commission looks to strengthen community

OPELIKA, Ala. (WSFA) - The city of Opelika had five homicides in 2018, and investigated its first homicide of 2019 just this week. Now, city leaders are speaking out on ways to try to cut back on crime.

Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller has been working for months with his crime commission to try to find ways to reduce crime in the city.

“All of us in the community were concerned,” said Fuller.

The crime commission is split into four committees: resources, education, youth, and family.

Thursday, the commission announced multiple suggestions they think will make a difference in the community.

“A preschool. We are trying to get something started probably by next year,” said Crime Commission Education Chair Patsy Jones.

“We’re hoping to have a good neighbor concept. We’re fortunate that we are able to work alongside so many valuable resources that are right here in the city of Opelika,” said Opelika Police Chief and Crime Commission Family Chair John McEachern.

Officials say one of the more immediate things happening with this commission is a program to offer summer jobs to teens.

“We are accepting applications now and we want to hire 20 young people between 16 and 19. We would prefer to hire at-risk kids that need a summer job and we will pay them $7.25 an hour,” said Fuller.

The job would require 20-hour work weeks.

The applications for those summer jobs will be due next week.

Officials say a public forum to to discuss the commission’s process will happen in the coming months.

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