MILTON — Students in the community can once again look forward to the highly anticipated 5th Quarter events held after the Milton High School varsity football games at the Milton Community Center this season. But this time there will be the added benefit of a Milton City Police presence to help keep the community safe.
According to city officials, last year's events were interrupted when an incident forced one of the scheduled events to be closed early and the sponsors have asked for the city to supply a police officer to patrol the community center parking lot to ensure a similar incident would not happen again. The cost to pay for the officer for the four events, possibly five if the team made it to playoffs, would amount to $500, according to city documentation.
Councilwoman Sharon Holley spoke in favor of the proposal, saying it was in the best interest of the community.
"It is a benefit to the students and their safety," Holley said.
Reverend Jim Waters, who coordinates the event, said he regretted having to shut down the event last year due to the incident, but said having the added security would be a great addition. He said even though he has trained volunteers at every event, he does not want to put volunteers in an uncomfortable position if an incident where violence occurred and said having the police there would be better.
"Security is the first piece of the puzzle," Waters said. "We don't let people hang in the parking lot, especially after 12 a.m. (when the event closes)."
The council asked Police Chief Tony Tindell if he had enough officers to cover the events, which would be held on Sept. 6 and 24, Oct. 4, and Nov. 1 from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tindell said he felt he could at least provide one officer for the events.
"If not, I'll come and cover it myself," Tindell said.
Council thanked Waters for his willingness to continue to sponsor the event and provide students in the community a place to gather after games.
"Thank you for your dedication," said Councilwoman Mary Ellen Johnson.