OPD: May Day mostly quiet

Published 12:25 am Friday, May 15, 2009

Opp’s annual May Day event finished with only one arrest and a few minor traffic accidents, said Opp Chief Nickey Carnley.

The two-day celebration, which was held Friday and Saturday, was organized to “celebrate the freedom from slavery.”

“Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in January, but it wasn’t until May that the northern forces made their advance and freed the slaves in the South,” said District 4 Councilman Davy Lindsey, event director, in a previous interview.

The weekend began with a gospel concert followed by a number of athletic and family events, as well as a car show.

Daytime attendance “was off” this year, Carnley said.

“The softball games were held during the day starting at 8 a.m., and the heat may have had something to do with the attendance for the games,” he said. “Those ended around 4 p.m. Some time between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. as it cooled off and got closer to dark, a larger celebratory crowd gather. They were no criminal offenses or incidents reported, and arrests were down, which I am very proud of. Though we did have a large turnout that night, those that came were in a festive mood, coming to have a good time, and enjoy good fellowship with others, and were very cooperative with the officers. We had only a few incidents with negative statements being made to the officers, however, they are use to it, and handled the comments very well.”

Carnley said the only arrest inside the event area was a pedestrian under the influence. The Alabama Beverage Control Board reported five arrests on Friday and 10 on Saturday outside of the event area, he said.

“I’m well pleased with the way the event was handled by the offices, as well as the support and cooperation from the community,” he said. “I feel that the officers presence help keep the trouble makers away and those that came, came to celebrate May Day, and were there to celebrate and not cause any problems.”