Pelham passes anti-terrorism police measure

Pelham Police now have the power to immediately remove unattended vehicles in &uot;high-risk&uot; areas of the city.

The Pelham City Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance Monday night prohibiting the parking of unattended vehicles on specified streets, roads and highways adjacent to Colonial Pipeline Company near Interstate 65.

The ordinance also gives Pelham Police Chief Allan Wade the power to designate other high-risk areas of the city to provide for the immediate removal of vehicles.

Pelham Mayor Bobby Hayes said Wade recommended the ordinance to protect Colonial Pipeline and other areas of the city such as the National Guard Armory from terrorism.

&uot;It’s a plus for us. It gives the police more authority as to where and when they can remove vehicles,&uot; Hayes said.

The ordinance reads, &uot;In light of the terrorist attacks perpetrated on the United States of America on Sept. 11, 2001 and the additional acts of terrorism, the City of Pelham has determined that it is in the best interest of the city to address the potential safety issue posed by unattended vehicles.&uot;

Costs of moving and impounding the vehicles would be the responsibility of the owner and they face a fine of up to $500, the ordinance states.

Chief Wade wrote the ordinance.

&uot;The moving force behind the ordinance was the situation with terrorism worldwide,&uot; said Wade.

&uot;The FBI, about a month ago, put out a general warning to law enforcement. They indicated places like railroads and pipelines could be in danger.

&uot;We felt it would be prudent to do something to ensure the safety of this facility (Colonial Pipeline) as well as our residents,&uot; Wade said.

The ordinance allows police to pick up the vehicles immediately, Wade said, rather than wait the three days as the current law reads.

&uot;Being this close to Interstate 65 and with the traffic we get through here, obviously this is a concern to us,&uot; he said about threats of terrorism