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City considers curfew

By Michael Butler

Other cities have enacted curfews due to the threat of COVID-19. Tallassee has not, but mayor Johnny Hammock has given the idea some attention.

"A lot of people have been pushing for a curfew that some of the larger cities like Birmingham, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa are going to. Chief (Matthew) Higgins and I have looked into it. What are our policing powers to make sure we don't do anything that would be considered harrassment?

"If we did go to something like that, how are we going to police it? We have a lot of shift workers here that are going to be confused. 'I've got to be at work at GKN at 5 in the morning. I've got to drive through town at 4:30. Are they going to pull me over?' There's a lot of questions."

Hammock said if the city did enforce a curfew, it would likely be 10 p.m. - 5 a.m. But that is still a big if considering logistics.

"It's almost impossible for us to police this. We only have 22 sworn officers. We run about three per shift. We have a large land mass area that we have to cover. I think we get 13,000 calls a year. We may get a call in Jordanville and there's 20 kids in the parking lot.

"Kids are going to be kids. You've got to think about if you let them go out and just drive all over town, you don't know what they're bringing home to you or the grandma. When they gather in these larger groups in the parking lot by the old Alabama Power, the next morning there's just trash.

"I know their parents raised them better than this than to throw all their fast food cups on the ground. I have to get my guys to go out there and clean it up. I probably shouldn't do this because it's private property, but I can't stand to look at it. Then the winds going to pick it up and blow it out on the highway."