‘It’s not about me’: Alexandria mayor comments on his absence from public safety meeting
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall defended his reasoning for not attending a packed public safety meeting on crime in the Garden District.
Most Alexandria city council members were at the meeting on Tuesday, October 19, but Mayor Hall was not. That meeting was hosted by the Alexandria Police Department to hear concerns about crime in the Garden District. Several people at the meeting asked why the mayor couldn’t make it. So, we asked him during his state of the community address on Wednesday, October 20:
“It’s not about me. It’s about getting in the community and doing all the communities as best we can with the people that are actually on the streets, actually on the schedule patrolling, actually got relationships with the citizens, and in some cases, I’ve had experiences. But we want to hear from them. We want them to be able to hear and talk and come up with ideas and we’re willing to listen to them. You’ll hear from the mayor. You’ve heard from the mayor from the very beginning. But this is something specific for the police department and that’s how we’re going to do it at this particular time.”
One main topic brought up at the meeting was the difficulty that the public has to get basic information about crime in their neighborhood. The current crime reporting policy in the city is that APD must send information to the mayor, who then decides what information will be released. We also asked Mayor Hall why that policy is in place:
“There are no secrets. There is nothing that we have to hide, that I have to hide, but there is a process that we need to do that because it is a pretty large operation, and we have to have some structure to it and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Mayor Hall said he plans to hold similar events like this public safety meeting that he will attend to answer questions from the public.
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