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Police Chief Ben Williams addresses the city council at a special meeting last week.

 
By GALEN HOLLEY
Staff Writer


   Grenada police are outmanned and outgunned, according to the chief, and the department needs personnel and resources to combat escalating crime.
   Chief Ben Williams told the Grenada City Council during an emergency meeting on Thursday that he doesn’t have what he needs to stem the flow of gun violence and to patrol the streets adequately.
   Williams spoke plainly and directly at a meeting that was convened in the wake of two shootings in the Lake City in less than 24 hours.
   “I pray this day never comes, but if we get in a shoot out with these gang-bangers, we can’t win,” said Williams.
   Williams told an astounded crowd, along with Mayor Billy Collins, City Manager Charles “Jo Jo” Weathers and  all members of the Grenada City Council that he was short some 14 officers in the department. He also said that, because of tight budget restrictions, not even every officer is carrying a department-issued side arm.
   The GPD currently has 40 officers, including investigators, supervisors and patrol officers.
   “I appreciate that money is tight,” said Williams, “but we are in dire need of resources in the department. I pray the day doesn’t come when these guns that are on the street are turned on our police officers.”

For the full story, see the online edition or the printed edition of the GrenadaStar.



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