SUMITON – Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith was the guest speaker for the East Walker Chamber of Commerce (EWCC) meeting on Tuesday, highlighting things the department has done in the three months …
SUMITON – Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith was the guest speaker for the East Walker Chamber of Commerce (EWCC) meeting on Tuesday, highlighting things the department has done in the three months since he took office.
Items of particular interest for the group was that out of the total of 194 department investigations, 69 were in East Walker County. That figure didn’t include cases for the cities of Dora or Sumiton.
Most of the cases involved drugs or property crimes. When asked about the best way to prevent property crimes, Smith said, “Cameras are good, but German Shepherds are better.” Another thing that helps reduce property crimes is to have good neighbors, according to Smith.
Smith also said the Sheriff's Office is starting a Vacation Watch program, where families notify the department and fill out a form when they go out of town. Deputies will check on these residences while they are away and document the times the property is checked on the back of the form, according to Smith.
Another key to reducing crime is to be a good witness. “If you see something, say something,” he said. “If you don’t have good witnesses, it’s hard to make a case.”
Several attendees at the luncheon said they are seeing deputies patrolling in their areas more than in the past.
Responding to a question about home security systems, Smith said that those considering systems should have it set to where the alarm company calls the Sheriff's Office first. He said it sometimes takes 10 or 15 minutes for the alarm company to try and reach the homeowner before calling the police. This delays the response time, which can mean the difference in whether they catch the criminals or not.
In other action, the chamber heard Clay Grice report that the EWCC Golf Tournament last month was a success. The winners were Eric Waters, Randy Tate, Jake Howton, and Andrew Braden. The Walker County Sheriff Office's team, Josh Harkness, Anthony Leach, Nick Key, and Josh Let, took second.
“Clay worked hard on organizing that tournament, and we appreciate it,” Chamber Director Chee-Vee Whitfield said.