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Crime and pay raises for MPD officers and city employees are major topics at Montgomery City Council meeting

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The meeting started with good news – the council approved a 15 percent raise for MPD officers at the rank of lieutenant or below, as well as a 5 percent raise for police captains and chiefs. All city employees will also receive a 5 percent raise.

At times, discussions degenerated into verbal battles, and citizens who were only allowed three minutes to speak were interrupted. On Tuesday evening, crime was once again the main topic that Montgomery residents were discussing at City Hall. “The break-ins never stop. Police came into our building, found a man inside and refused to arrest him,” said Faya Rose Toure.

“I know everyone knows it, but we have a public safety crisis in Montgomery. The citizens of Montgomery don't feel safe. We don't feel informed by our leaders. How far along are we in hiring a police chief?” said Montgomery resident Rebecca Baker.

Mayor Steven Reed attended a city council meeting for the first time in over a month and said he wants the council to approve an additional six million a year for public safety. “I have a problem with those who say public safety is not a priority for me. I believe I am the first and only mayor to be robbed at gunpoint in his own restaurant,” Mayor Reed said. A Montgomery man addressed the mayor directly and said, “The way things are going, we are losing faith in this administration. Mayor, you can do better and we deserve better.”

Mayor Reed said the police chief position has been open for a little over a week and a national search firm will look at internal and external candidates. The last time Montgomery police chief was searched several years ago, 99 people applied for the position.