CH chief proud of progress
by W. Brian Hale
Jun 20, 2011 | 2165 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CARBON HILL — Carbon Hill Police Chief Heath Allred has found plenty of reasons to smile when discussing the progress his department has made in his 10 months as its leader.

Since his appointment as police chief in August 2010, Allred has overseen the improvements to his department that, together with actions and approval from the city council, have streamlined the police force and made them more effective in serving the community.

Three new cruisers — all of which are Dodge Chargers — have been added to the department’s fleet of cars, replacing decommissioned and unserviceable vehicles to aid in patrol efforts.

All three of the new cars will be fitted with state-of-the-art radar detection systems that will be used in traffic enforcement. New mobile data terminals are also set to be placed within cruisers that will replace the “pen and paper” traffic ticket writing and instantly send all information to the court clerk.

Internal changes within the department have been a source of pride for Allred as well.

Josh McGuire, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who returned to the force last year, has been promoted to sergeant for the dedication and work ethic he has shown. A pay raise was recently approved by the city council for police officers, dispatchers and jail staff, making their compensation competitive with other departments in the county.

“I know I am a little biased, but we have a tremendous group of officers here that are eager to learn and serve our citizens,” Allred said. “We have many of our officers who come to me constantly wanting to go to some type of new training.

“In our line of work, if you’re not training and learning, you’re dying — because the element that we’re working against get smarter every day. So our own dedication to learning and getting better that I see from our officers is wonderful to see.”

Allred is now focusing on community outreach programs to help further build relationships between the police department and the residents it serves.

In development is a program designed for Carbon Hill’s elderly and disabled population similar to the “Good Morning” program introduced and implemented in the town of Parrish by its police chief, Nick Smith.

Allred states that anyone who participates in the program — particularly elderly and disabled citizens who live alone — would receive a call from a member of the police department to check and make sure they are not needing assistance. In the event that the participant does not answer, an action plan could be put into place to have neighbors, family members or an officer visit the participant’s home to check on them.

The program would be completely voluntary and would be conducted in the morning hours. Allred also said he plans on grouping together with Chief Smith and Cordova Police Chief Kenneth Bobo for other projects geared toward community-oriented policing.

While Allred’s pride in the progress of his force is evident, he is also quick to praise many individuals and agencies who have provided outstanding cooperative efforts and assistance in transforming his police department into one that its citizens can be proud of.

“Mayor Chris Hart and our city council have been very supportive through our efforts to improve our department and we couldn’t have done it without them,” Allred said. “Our city clerk/magistrate Kim Sides has also been incredible — enough praise can’t be given to her. We’re very blessed in this county with cooperation from our highest levels and here in Carbon Hill, it’s no different.

“Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair and his staff have been instrumental in their help, holding special training and being available whenever we need anything. Walker County Sheriff John Mark Tirey, his department and the Walker County NET have also been wonderful — they’ve been there for us in many situations and we happily have returned any assistance we can provide to them. Law enforcement and service to the community is a group effort and we’re blessed to be on a team with great individuals and agencies.”