There are people around that remember beyond just last week. The Century-law enforcement-drugs issue has been around longer than the daily newspaper’s articles last week.
In June, 2005 when Century Town Council met to consider re-starting its City Police Force. The Sheriff’s Department turned out in force to oppose that move along with former Mayor Bennie Barnes. It was a loud and angry meeting.
According to Century residents at the meeting, the Sheriff’s representatives claimed the ECSO had a ” . . . less than six (6) minute response time to any location in the county . . .” and that Century did not need its own police force.
At the time, locals reported that Century was experiencing a drug “turf war” (according to locals – shooting in the streets and Alabama gangs openly brandishing guns in the streets during daylight hours trying to intimidate Century and Pensacola gangs – no arrests by ECSO) in the aftermath of Ivan.
The sheriff and the former Mayor fought the reestablishment of a police force at every turn, even when the vast majority of the citizens attending the special council meeting were for it.
It was also around the time that the county discovered Century hadn’t been paying its bill for the ECSO. There were some not so subtle threats that Century would get a multi-million dollar “bill” for past LEO services if Century pursued attempting to start its own police force and to save the police station for that purpose.
Then County approved $500,000 to change the old Century police station into a library – virtually eliminating any chance for Century to reestablish its police force.
From one email I received: “Brownsville is nothing compared to Ramar Street and Century Woods in Century.”