By Erica Thomas, managing editor
TRUSSVILLE — The city of Trussville is in talks with Walmart’s district asset protection leaders about how to make the area safer for shoppers.
The meetings were spurred after a shooting on Feb. 2. No one was hurt in the shooting and police arrested 20-year-old Jordan Christopher Harris. Harris is now charged with attempted murder, criminal mischief second-degree and reckless endangerment.
After the shooting, Police Chief Eric Rush said he mobilized a specialized unit to fight crime around Walmart. He also said he would like Walmart to provide funding for Flock Safety cameras at the entrance of the property, in order to help curb crime.
Flock Safety license plate reader cameras take snapshots of tags and alert law enforcement when they detect stolen vehicles, stolen tags, people with outstanding warrants, or people or vehicles who have been entered into a hotlist. The cameras can also help with investigations after crimes have been committed.
As for the Feb. 2 shooting, Harris was employed by Walmart, so Flock Safety cameras may not have been able to prevent the shooting. However, the technology could have provided better images and information of all parties involved and the vehicles in which they were traveling. That’s why Rush said he would like Walmart to help get them.
“Flock cameras have proven to be an excellent crime-fighting tool,” Rush said. “But there are other things that we have spoken with Walmart about that will help decrease crime in the area.”
Rush said one of those other things is bringing back the police department’s substation inside Walmart.
“Walmart is going to clean up the old substation and get it ready for us,” said Rush. “It will serve as a place for officers to work out of and provide a presence.”
Scott Pope, the director of National Media Relations with Walmart, said the leadership of the superstore chain is working hard to come up with solutions in and around the Trussville Walmart.
“This week we had the opportunity to meet with Chief Rush and discuss opportunities that enable our shared goals of making the community a safe place to live and our store a safe place to shop,” Pope said. “Serving the residents of Trussville is a priority for both the police department and Walmart, and we look forward to continued conversations aimed at providing solutions that will benefit the community.”
Jordan Christopher Harris posted $62,000 in bonds and was released from the Jefferson County Jail on Feb. 3. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 13.