Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mayor Valley Declares Curfew in Limited Area of City

Executive Order





  1. Whereas, the City of Helena-West Helena, has the duty to provide protection to its citizens and visitors; and

  2. Whereas, certain areas of our city has been under seige with repeated gunfire, loitering, drug dealing and other general mayhem; and

  3. Whereas, the Police Department acting through Colonel Fred Fielder, Chief of Police, Major Ronald Scott, Assistant Chief of Police; Captain G. Paul Baldwin, Captain Carl Vann, Lieutenant Bennie Phillips, Detective Roy Covington, Detective Dennis Cox, Detective Brian Holloway, Detective Thomas Bivens, Officer Manager Evelyn Pool and Mayor James Valley met and developed a plan of action; and

  4. Whereas, without these drastic measures, the citizens in the affected areas will continue to live under seige; and

  5. Whereas, Detective Roy Covington has prepared a map outlining the affected area; and

  6. Whereas, the next city council meeting is set for August 19, 2008;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT ORDERED, DIRECTED AND DECREED in accordance with Section 7.12.01 of Code of Ordinances for the City of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, a mandatory curfew is imposed and ordered for the next 48 hours and re-imposed after each expiration until the problem is resolved or the city council can meet and decide on the appropriate course of action.

The Police Department has been directed to treat the Curfew Zone as a zero tolerance zone. No loitering, standing or “hanging-out” will be permitted. All traffic on foot, bicycle, automobile, horseback, moped, motorcycle, riding mower or other mode of travel will be subject to stop and investigation.

The Street and Sanitation Department has been directed to clean all alleys in the area and remove all debris and low lying shrubbery that impedes the view of the police officers and general public.

The Mayor’s office has been directed to order additional lighting for the telegram poles in the dark places in the affected area including the alleys.

The affected area is as follows: Starting at the easternmost corner of the intersection of Fourth Street (aka Hwy 242) and Anderson Street and traveling west on Anderson street to the westernmost corner of the intersection of Anderson and South Sebastian Streets then traveling south on Sebastian street to the southernmost corner of the intersection of Sebastian Street and Garland Street and then east on Garland street to the easternmost corner of the intersection of Garland Street and Fourth Street and then traveling north to the point of the beginning at the intersection of Fourth Street and Anderson Street.

The affected streets include:

Center Street (Totally)

The 200 and 300 Blocks of:

North Sebastian Street

North 2nd Street

North 3rd Street

North 4th Street

The 100, 200 and 300 Blocks of:

East Garland Street

East Baldwin Street

Anderson Street

A copy of the map is attached to this order and is available for viewing and inspection during normal business hours at 98 Plaza Street in the Mayor’s office, City Clerk’s Office or Chief of Police’s Office.

The Curfew shall be and hereby is in force and effect for 24 hours per day.

The Code Enforcement Department has been directed to pursue Nuisance Abatement (Evictions) for those persons residing in homes, in the affected areas, where at least three (3) criminal violations have occurred within the most recent time period allowed to be considered by law.

The Records subdivision of the police department has been directed to gather all necessary information for the Code Enforcers, City Attorney and Police Department to take swift, direct and most impacting action against the wrongdoers and offenders.

The police department will use both diplomacy with the “ring leaders” and saturation of the affected area to bring resolve to this matter. Diplomacy with the ring leaders will entail the issuance of a cease and desist order. Saturation will entail additional manpower, overtime, extra hours, long shifts and the issuance of tickets. Saturation also entails serving warrants and subpoenas.

The police department has been directed to give no warning other than this order itself.







Anonymous said...

do you really think asking the police officers to put their lives on the line to make people stay in the homes is the solution to the problem? We need to enforce the law and to everyone not just the few that we pick out of a crowd it needs to be uniformed enforcement.But keep in mind this is a problem that has took years to come about and don't think that you are going to clean this mess up in 48 hours cause it is a ongoing problem.

Anonymous said...

I'm from connecticut and do not know alot about this but I find it rediculous. When did we stop the constitution and become a police state? This sounds alot like martial law. I believe fixing the current problems is important but this is wrong. The free and law abiding citizens should not suffer. I hope people stand up together to fight the criminals but also to stop the police in this situation. Flood the streets in groups of people walking for excersice, not just physical excersise but also to excercise our free rights.

Anonymous said...

If it such a war zone, why would people have to be ordered into their homes? This is uncalled for in America.

Anonymous said...

I commend the Mayor and our police department for trying everything in their powers to make our city safer. I hope this continue.

Stephen Vincent D'Emidio said...

Mayor Valley, you are my new hero. I wish you were mayor of New York City, where I live.

Anonymous said...

No matter the situation in your town, you do not have the authority to enforce martial law. You cannot call it a curfew if it is in effect 24 hours a day. By definition curfew is "an order that **after a specific time** certain activities are prohibited". I hope your city is sued by anyone who is wrongfully punished under these conditions. This is un-American.

Anonymous said...

This is a disgusting and unwarranted abuse of power. This mayor and those of the police who support these measures should be removed from their posts and tried for this egregious violation of the US CONSTITUTION.
Helena this week; where next?
Wake up people or its all gone.

Anonymous said...

Whats truly ironic about this situation is you have an ignorant population that not only elected this person to office, but now you have some quasi police action trampling on your civil rights. You would think perhaps the Ark. state police would be better suited to handle something like this, maybe even the National Guard. Local police should not even attempt to do something like this; perhaps when honest cops start getting targeted for gestapo like tactics and subsequently killed, the Governor will step in.

Anonymous said...

This is a small town tragedy of immense proportions. The governor should have stepped in already to put an end to this nonsense. The president should have as well but we all know how well he respects the Constitution, which CANNOT just be ignored on the whim of some Mayor on a power trip. We are people with rights and you're violating them every minute that this continues.

Anonymous said...

All you people crying about rights sound like you are for the gangs. Do you have to sleep on the floor at night becouse of gun fire? If you are doing nothing wrong then you are not going to jail. And you people want to cry about rights OK how about the rights of the ones that are getting shot at and robed at run point! Its time to put the gangs in jail and clean up the streets and sometimes it takes tough work to get it done

Anonymous said...

Ben Franklin had somehting to say on this subject:
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

"Now, if somebody wants to sue us, they have an option to sue, but I'm fairly certain that a judge will see it the way the way the citizens see it here," Mayor James Valley said. "The citizens deserve peace, that some infringement on constitutional rights is OK, and we have not violated anything as far as the Constitution."
This sets a dangerous precedent.
If the citizens are this scared, they should band together in an armed neighborhood watch, not cry to the gubbermint to stomp all over everyone's rights for the slim hope of deterring crime.

"As far as I'm concerned, at 3 o'clock in the morning, nobody has any business being on the street, except the law," Councilman Eugene "Red" Johnson said. "Anyone out at 3 o'clock shouldn't be out on the street, unless you're going to the hospital."
Know what I'm doing "on the street" at 3am?
Being a law-abiding citizen, you wannabe jack-booted-thug! Newsflash! Mere presence outside of my home is not a crime, Hopefully none of the SWAT-wannabe cops get injured surprising citizens in poor lighting conditions.

Hopefully the people of this city will remove any elected offical who supported this at the soonest opportunity.
Calling in the police will simply teach the criminals that the citizens are HELPLESS without police protection. Enjoy the bubble of safety around the patrol car, it won't extend far.

Oh, and a question -
How does "sleeping on the floor" make a bit of difference? Do you think that the shots passing through your neighborhoods are carefully aimed and chest-high?
The solution to bullets entering your home is return fire, not cowering on the floor waiting to be further victimized.

Anonymous said...

It was shocked to see that rootin' tootin' mayor Valley is evidently an attorney. What, did he miss the Constitutional Law Class when they covered the 4th Amendment? If you've got to resort to this type of totalitarianism to get a little law and order and resort to "rounding up the usual suspects" than maybe it's time for a some new leadership...

Anonymous said...

It was shocked to see that rootin' tootin' mayor Valley is evidently an attorney. What, did he miss the Constitutional Law Class when they covered the 4th Amendment? If you've got to resort to this type of totalitarianism to get a little law and order and resort to "rounding up the usual suspects" than maybe it's time for a some new leadership...

Anonymous said...

I was shocked to see that rootin' tootin' mayor Valley is an attorney. What, did he miss the Constitutional Law class that covered the 4th Amendment? If, as a city, you've got to resort to this kind of police action to create a little law and order, than I suspect the real trouble is in the lack of local leadership which has allowed such a situation to develop in the first place.

Doc said...

Why not just take the all the guns?

Every other right is being "infringed upon" so what is the big deal? The MAIN complaint is "shooting" and "bullets". People are not complaining about drugs per se - they are complaining about GUNS.

Declare a gun free zone. The Constitution in this country has been watered down: if the police can be allowed to enforce a form of martial law, then certainly the can go ahead and actually remove the direct cause of the problem.

This is an outgrowth, of course, of the war on drugs. The prohibition of drugs creates the profits that lure the people who cause trouble (or are professional, organized menaces to society ). The violence is due to the black market. Police enforcement of drug prohibition directly supports the profitability of trafficking. People are not shooting each other for tobacco or alcohol. It's money from illegal drugs that is just too good for the poor to pass up. Its a classic dynamic seen around the world.

Here it is being used to sell Americans on the idea that police-enforced "curfews" are OK especially if they are for the poor.

It is a gross infringement on the rights of people and the failure of the "war on drugs" is plainly on display. Poor people are bring molested from all sides and real criminals will remain unphased, as will be evidenced by continued shootings even with the draconian nonsense they have "authorized".

I will be waiting to see the lawsuits start.

Anonymous said...

Fascists pigs. You better run boy.