SEMMES, Ala. (WALA) - The youngest city in Mobile County has partnered up with the sheriff's office to protect its streets.
Semmes has a new three-year contract, in effect since December 1, that will have deputies patrolling the area. The city of Semmes has a three-year contract with the Mobile County Sheriff's Office.
The city will pay $440,570.87 a year for three years, in return for five deputies and a supervisor.
When you ride into Semmes, you'll find there's something homey about keeping things the same. You'll find folks talking at a barber shop.
"Everybody knows everybody out here," said Carmen Tillman from Tillman's Barber Shop. "[It's] kinda like Floyd's barber shop on Andy Griffith!"
And you'll find people lounging at a barbecue joint.
Hickory Pit Too Owner Brandon Van Hook said, "[Semmes is a] small town community, everybody knows each other here, kids play baseball, football."
But there's nothing wrong with trying something new.
Deputies are now assigned to watch over the streets of Semmes.
It's a new agreement between the city and the Sheriff's office. It allows for five deputies and a supervisor to cover the city 24/7.
The Sheriff's office will also provide other services along with the deputies. Below is a list that was sent to FOX10 News:
- DETECTIVE SUPPORT – All criminal complaints requiring additional investigation and follow up would be assigned to a detective.
- MAJOR CRIMES – Any serious incident involving a death or violent offense would have a major crimes detective assigned.
- CRIME SCENE & IDENTIFICATION – We have a fully staffed unit to handle all crime scenes and evidence gathering.
- SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS TEAM (SWAT) – We maintain a fully trained and equipped SWAT team.
- NARCOTICS – Semmes would continue to receive the dedicated support of the specialized narcotics unit to follow up on any illegal drug deals.
- CRIME PREVENTION UNIT – Our full time deputies would remain available to work with the businesses, schools, and citizenry in educational and prevention efforts.
- TRAINING – Our Sheriff's Office has a full time training unit that will keep the assigned deputies certified and trained in the latest law enforcement trends.
- LEGAL SUPPORT – We have an attorney on staff available to assist as well as our deputies are defended by the Sheriff's Office in any legal proceedings.
- ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT – The Sheriff and his staff will be responsible for all law enforcement needs for the City.
- FACILITIES – The Deputies will work out of our Semmes Sub-station, eliminating the need for the City to invest in any structural and or be responsible for any utilities, phones, etc., essentially no maintenance.
Tillman is thankful for the partnership. She said, "The response times will be better because they're already here."
"Sounds good to me," said Robert McKinney as he got his hair cut.
Van Hook said, "You can totally tell the difference cuz you got one sitting everywhere on the side of the road."
But we found one Semmes resident who's a former employee of the Sheriff's office. And he gave us his two cents on this new agreement."
"It's great," said Jack Tillman as he sat inside Hickory Pit Too; Tillman is a former Mobile County sheriff.
He says the city can save a great deal of money with this new arrangement, instead of forming its own police force.
He said, "It's costly to buy cars and uniforms and retirement and pay a salary and build a courthouse. Then you gotta hire a judge, then you gotta hire a city attorney. It mounts up."
Some folks here will tell you there isn't much crime here, but crime is still present. And if this agreement can help keep their way of life safe, then they're all for it.
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