The Clinton City Council hears crime concerns
Tuesday, September 15, 2009 4:10 pm
Local grocer Greg Godby told the Council that three armed robberies at Greg's Market, the only grocery store in town, moved him to come to the meeting and plead for increased police enforcement.
The most recent armed robbery that took place early on a Sunday morning during the Labor Day weekend. Godby and assistant store manager, Todd Carter, were confronted by two gunmen who escaped on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. Godby told the Council that waiting twenty minutes for police response after having a gun shoved in his face was not "a pleasant experience".
Voice breaking, Godby pleaded with the Council to add more police patrols. He said that in the past, an officer was in the area during store openings and closings. He emphasized that he understood that having only two police officers made their job very difficult to perform.
Danny Jewell, owner of two convenience stores at either end of town, agreed with Godby. One of his stores, JewellMart #2 was broken into twice during the ice storm in January. Jewell was frustrated that the lack of patrols would lead to an injury. Jewell reminded the Council that store proprietors put their lives on the line every day to serve the public.
Pam Freeman, present at the Council meeting to urge purchase of sewer meters, was moved to add her voice to Godby's and Jewell's. She told the Council that her daughter, an employee of Greg's Market, was put in a freezer last summer. At the time, she was five months pregnant.
Freeman said, "She could have miscarried. Then what? I get angry every time I think of it." If the issue is money, then Freeman urged the Council to go door to door to sell a tax increase to voters.
Hickman County Sheriff John Turner told the Council that he and the Clinton City Police worked well together. But he too is shorthanded. It is just Turner and one deputy to patrol a farflung county.
Turner bemoaned the lack of grants to Hickman County for policing. He said that Fulton County and Graves County got funds, but Hickman County did not.
In the end, the Council voted to approve as much overtime as Police Chief House and his one officer need until new officers can be hired. The City urged ads be placed in local and regional newspapers.
In the meantime, officers from both departments vowed to work together to cover the city and the county.