Police officers in Selma went on strike Thursday morning, after demanding the city increase their pay.
The strike started at 5:30 a.m. and quickly forced administration employees to patrol the streets, according to NBC affiliate WSFA.
Department spokesman Lt. Sam Miller told WSFA patrol shift workers did not come into work this morning and night shift officers have already called out. He said some supervisors also are absent.
Last week, Selma officers anonymously sent city officials a letter asking for pay increases.
The letter, dated Aug. 5, which is addressed to the Mayor of Selma, Selma City Council, Personnel Director, Treasurer, City Attorney and Police Chief John Brock, is a request for a “collaborative” and “mandatory” meeting.
Chief Brock says his officers are ready for the city to take action.
“The officers want a raise,” Brock told WFSA. “They’ve been waiting, they’ve been put off for several years and it’s time to put up or shut up. Since Day 1 when I took this job, I said to the council that night that they had to give the officers a pay raise. They’ve got bonuses over these last several years, but an actual pay raise they haven’t had since 2007.”
A Selma Police Department spokesman confirmed the requested meeting is set for Thursday afternoon downtown.
“It’s not something that’s been ignored,” Selma Mayor George Evan told WFSA. “It’s just a matter of trying to find all of the pieces to put it together to be able to find any money to do that. We all agree that our police officers and those in public safety and all of our departments deserve more money. It is my belief that the city council and mayor will work to get that done.”