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Police chief Matthew Higgins with mayor Johnny Hammock at City Hall on Friday

Stay-at-home order overrides city's planned curfew

By Michael Butler

On Friday, Tallassee mayor Johnny Hammock announced plans to implement a curfew to go into effect the following week; however, hours later Gov. Kay Ivey trumped the move with a stay-at-home order.

"The chief and I have been looking with the court magistrate on how we could do a curfew," Hammock said. "I had a feeling the governor was going to do something, but I didn't know when. I didn't know she was going to do it the same day. I was tired of waiting.

"I want to be proactive. I would rather put something in place to keep the citizens safe from a public safety standpoint than to sit back and wait for someone to die here in our town."

Hammock had been considering a curfew based on activity during the late night hours.

"We had seen an increase in juvenile complaints at night, businesses being broken into and a lot of the high school kids hanging out in parking lots. What we're trying to prevent is the spread of this virus in our community.

"We were going to sign it on Monday unless the governor came out with something more stringent that would supersede it - and she did. A lot of these people took the opportunity to bash the chief and I trying to get some press time (saying) that we had inside information. I don't really like to get on TV. I would never try to get my face on television."

The language in the city's executive order indicated a fine up to $500 could be imposed on violaters of the curfew which is in accord to those who do not heed to the stay-at-home order.

"We're going to write affidavits. They'll get subpoenas to come to court. It'll be up to judge (Linda) Benson if she issues anywhere from a $25 to $500 fine."