Photo from Hoover Police Department video
Hoover police officers 2015
An uptick in violent crime is prompting Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey to ask the City Council for about $600,000 this year to pay for 10 new patrol officers for the Hoover Police Department.
Ivey tonight said Hoover’s crime rate was down in 2015, but there seems to have been a recent surge in crime since January, not just in Hoover, but across the metro area, state and country.
The Jan. 5 fatal shooting of a U.S. military veteran outside his home in the Lake Cyrus community shook the city of Hoover, Ivey said.
“The killing we had at Lake Cyrus impacted the community more so because the city is not used to that,” Ivey said. “That’s not what we’re used to hearing about.”
Hoover police Chief Nick Derzis reportedly told a Birmingham TV station last week that he could use 20 more patrol officers, but 10 would help do the job.
At tonight’s Hoover City Council meeting, Bluff Park resident Dan Fulton said if the Police Department needs 20 more patrol officers, the city should provide them immediately.
“We can’t afford to not have safety and security in Hoover,” Fulton said. He doesn’t care how fancy the houses in Hoover are, how fancy the new $70 million Sportsplex will be or how fancy the Riverchase Galleria is. “If this city is not safe and secure, people are not going to come here and shop, and they’re not going to come here to live.”
Ivey said he has always been a strong proponent of public safety and that, in this case, Fulton may right. “In this day and age, I don’t know that there are ever enough (police officers),” Ivey said.
Ivey said he believes there are almost 170 sworn police officers in the Hoover Police Department now, and 10 more patrol officers is something the city can afford. “It’s one of those things that you can’t afford not to do,” he said.
He expects to present a mid-year budget amendment to the City Council in the next 60 days, he said. If approved by the council, the money would come from the city’s general fund, he said.
Ivey said he knows many residents are looking for ways to secure their homes and he recommends motion detectors on flood lights as an inexpensive crime deterrent.
“If there is anything that people don’t like that are bad people, it’s lights,” he said.
In other business tonight, the Hoover City Council approved a resolution, declaring its intent to issue warrants to pay for the $70 million Sportsplex the city plans to build next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and authorizing the use of future borrowed money to reimburse capital expenses already being made for the project.
“We’re trying to get the project moving forward,” Hoover Finance Director Robert Yeager said.
The council also named Waldrep, Stewart & Kendrick LLC as the legal firm to handle the issuance of the warrants.