Mayor Maddox empowers police after rise in shootings

Tuscaloosa mayor making changes after violence

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A weekend of violence in Tuscaloosa has stretched further into the week. On Tuesday, police and patrol cars filled a parking lot on McFarland Boulevard after bullets shot out a store window during a drive-by shooting.

Hours later, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox announced he’s making it easier for police to fight crimes like this one.

“What I would say as to a crisis situation, we stopped short of going to that point. But I wanted to give Chief the full authority to make it happen,” Maddox later explained.

He gave Police Chief Steve Anderson the authority to make staffing changes, approve overtime, and create special details without going through the normal administrative process.

Several recent shootings, including one that led to the death of 18-year-old Elexis McCool, have many on edge.

Maddox says they also want to focus on crimes involving illegal guns.

"We’re going to do everything we can to stop the flow, to arrest those that have them. To make life as disruptive for those that want to do harm,” Maddox concluded.

Maddox said he’s committed to giving the police department the resources that it needs to keep people safe in Tuscaloosa.

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