Councilwoman Seeks Police Protection for City of Midway

A city councilwoman is spearheading a committee to get its own police protection. The Gadsden County Sheriff's Office provided some protection in Midway, but folks and council members are hoping to have a deputy on board as a permanent fixture in the community.

Owners of the Midway Stop say the store has been robbed several times and it's been difficult to get Gadsden County deputies at the store in a timely fashion.

Sal Amleh, owner of Midway Stop, says, "It came to a point, we had to come here two to three in the morning, sometimes two to three times a week, so need help not only for me but for the community also.”

A community that has had it's share of crimes.

City council members say Williams Street is a hot spot for drug sales and having an officer on duty in Midway may curtail crimes.

Ella Barber, a member of the Midway City Council, says, "The people need some protection. We don't have any services offered to them and to me, life, health, property are very important and we don't have that and that's one place to start the police protection."

Chief Deputy Ed Spooner of the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office adds, "It's beneficial to the city of Midway to use the Sheriff's Office. We answer calls in that area. What this would allow us to have some concentrated in that area and relieve one of our deputies and have them work in the outer area."

MAJ Spooner says if the council approves having a deputy on board, the city will only be responsible for the overtime pay, but council members say having just one deputy on board is not enough.

"My concern is that we need to have our own police department up and running and also have enough officers on duty," says Charles Willis, a Midway city councilman.

Councilwoman Barber has looked at several options. She says paying just 20 or 25 dollars an hour in overtime for services is a reasonable offer for the city. Barber say it's been seven years since they've had a police department. The agency is no longer in service because the city wasn’t able to get insurance to cover the department.