Maddox, new city council to address public safety concerns

Published: May. 7, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Mayor Walt Maddox and the new Tuscaloosa City Council will be sworn in later in May, but conversations are already underway between current and future members with the mayor about issues including crime and public safety.

You could hear the anger in Mayor Walt Maddox’s voice as he spoke about the killing of a teenage boy in west Tuscaloosa earlier this week.

“We had a 16-year-old that was not just shot, ambushed, on a city street in Tuscaloosa. That has to be a call to action,” Maddox said Friday.

Two people face capital murder charges in that Tuesday killing.

One of those suspects, 17-year-old Johnneius Wilson, was out of jail on bond on another murder he’s accused of committing in 2020.

“We need people above the city to step up. Let’s face it, one of the suspects in this case was out on bond for charges of both murder and attempted murder. Now what the hell was that person doing out? This is what we’re dealing with,” Mayor Maddox continued.

Maddox added they must also address violence and traffic accidents that have happened in front of Temerson Square in downtown and The University of Alabama Strip.

Earlier this week, a man was charged in a DUI crash that injured two university students when his vehicle hit the golf cart carrying them.

Maddox says one possible solution being discussed includes making some areas pedestrian only during certain times.

“You see this in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium on Bryant Drive. The bollards come up from the pavement. I think we could look at something like that. Again, this is theoretical. But let’s say at 10:30 or 11 o’clock on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, those come up. They block off the vehicle access and it becomes pedestrian only,” Maddox said.

Maddox believes some of these issues can be worked on at the local level through Elevate Tuscaloosa programs involving the youth and also partnering with groups like Tuscaloosa City Schools.

The mayor and new city council members will be sworn in on May 17.

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