Residents reactions mixed on police departments

Published 11:15 pm Sunday, March 10, 2013

Should Brewton and East Brewton merge their police departments?

Reaction among residents in the communities is mixed.

Stephanie Barksdale, a local store clerk in Brewton and a resident of East Brewton, said she thinks the two cities should merge their police departments.

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“Yes, I think we should merge them,” Barksdale said. “Maybe they will be fairer that way. The two police departments are as different as night and day the way they are now.”

An informal poll on The Brewton Standard’s Web site shows a majority of voters in favor of merging, with 47 percent voting yes and 38 percent voting no. Fifteen percent said the issue did not matter to them.

Carl Cotten of Brewton said a merger could benefit both cities.

“There is always something going on,” Cotten said. “I know people who drive through East Brewton to go to Milton, that would drive out of their way not to have to go through East Brewton.”

Cindy Thompson said she believes the departments should remain separate.

“I think its fine like it is,” she said. “Why mess with it. Leave it alone.”

Wesley Houston of Brewton said he doesn’t see a problem with the merger.

“It’s basically just one town anyway, with just a creek dividing it,” Houston said. “I don’t see what would be negative about merging the two departments.”

Lauren Anthony, who works in Brewton, said she can see both sides of the issue.

“They should stay the way they are,” Anthony said. “But, it might be that they could benefit with they joined forces.”

John Cardwell lives in Dixonville, but he shops in both East Brewton and Brewon.

‘It’s has worked fine like it is,” Cardwell said. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

Jonathon Rabon said he thinks the departments should merge.

“I say, go for it,” Rabon said. “It could be very effective to merge.”

Raquel Knight also said it might be a good thing to do.

“It could save money in the long run. East Brewton’s force is so small and they need some help.”