William Riley, the Police Chief of Selma, is preparing his law enforcement team for the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee. While this march occurs each year, it is never the same, which is why special consideration and preparations are being made by the local law enforcement department.
This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the march from Selma to Montgomery, which originally took place in 1965 as a demonstration for equal voting rights in the black community. The highest turnout ever is expected in Selma, as approximately 70,000 participants are expected over the weekend.
William Riley has served as Selma police chief since 2008 and said that in addition to the law enforcement officers from the Police Department, there will be 10 other agencies working in the city to ensure the safety of residents and visitors.
The planning for this event has spanned over the past few weeks, with the final preparations coming right down to the wire.
Some of the other agencies that will be in the area for the event-filled weekend include the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is one of the primary departments that is coordinating the collaboration of federal and local law enforcement agencies.
While planning for the event began as a rather overwhelming undertaking, once the process began Riley said everything seemed to fall together, ensuring that the commemoration of past events would be successful and enjoyable for all who attend.
It is estimated that approximately 100 officers from over 40 different law enforcement agencies will be working voluntarily in Montgomery and Selma between the period of March 13th and March 25th. Riley has made it clear that his law enforcement team is ready for the event and are excited for the activities to come.