A large group of Sandy Stimpson supporters covered the four corners of one of the busiest intersections in the city on Aug. 14. But these were not just any supporters. The group of 50 to 75 people were made up of Mobile police officers, including such high ranking officers like deputy chiefs and detectives, who worked some of the biggest murder cases in the city, as well as some of the city’s firefighters.
The group, which represented some 1,500 first responders, according to Stimpson, held up signs reading “Police for Sandy” or “Firefighters for Sandy” at the intersection of Hillcrest and Grelot roads.
For such a number of high ranking officers to actively campaign for a candidate who is not the sitting mayor is somewhat unprecedented in the city, and it was not lost on Stimpson, who was introduced by Deputy Chief James Barber.
“These officers are out here risking their jobs and livelihood at this event,” he said. “To have their support … it’s hard to put into words how gratifying it is.
“My hope is people see the officers and realize they want a change in leadership.”
MPD Deputy Chief Joseph Kennedy spoke on behalf of the Mobile County Law Enforcement Association, which has endorsed Stimpson.
“We are very concerned with the city,” he said. “We want a leader with integrity, honesty and someone who is concerned about the city, and we feel Sandy is that man.
“The city is at a crossroads and there is a lot of potential to grow industry. Mobile needs a businessman in office, not a politician,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy said the MCLEA feels that Jones has not made public safety a priority, like he claims.
“Funding and equipment have been a concern for years for us,” he said. “We haven’t had a raise in six years, equipment needs to be replaced and cars and technology need to be upgraded.
“We need to have the proper funding and tools to do our jobs.”
During the first debate between Jones and Stimpson on June 4, Jones said he was “comfortable with crime.” Kennedy said he and the officers in the MCLEA are not.
“I think the police department does a good job, but we could do better with the proper tools,” he said. “We are not satisfied with crime and work everyday to fight it. ”
The law enforcement officers supporting Stimpson are not done campaigning. Kennedy said they will be on corners and going door-to-door from now until Aug. 27 when the municipal elections take place.
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