It’s A Tough Job, But Someone’s Got to Do It

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CULLMAN – With the increase in crime throughout the United States, law enforcement is in high demand. As much as we depend on our local police and deputies, who do they depend upon? Are they safe while walking the beat day in and day out? Officers are specially trained when they take the job, but is there a little something extra our local heroes do to protect themselves due to the rise in crime?

“Our officers are trained where they wear their vests,” said Lieutenant Handley with the Cullman City Police Department. “We just recently bought body microphones for everybody to wear, as well as body cameras. Our sergeants have told everyone to be vigilant.”

Each officer wears a device that both records and films situations they come across. Part of the device is worn around the neck and clips to the collar. The actual recorder part is clipped to the belt. When the officer has an encounter with the public, he or she presses the button on their belt and the device actually turns on, backing up 20 to 30 seconds.

Body cameras are nice and are much needed, but the city police have other ways of staying safe these days.

“I think we’re better because our new Training Sergeant, Jason Mickle, has implemented the training program here a couple years ago, where three times a year, maybe four, we take two weeks – go to an alternate schedule – and all the officers go to some kind of training those two weeks, everybody gets the same training,” Handley continued.

Recording devices and rigorous training are just a portion of what our police officers have at their disposal. In the future, additional equipment will be implemented to keep our officers and us safe, and right now, Handley feels the department is appropriately prepared.

“We’re well equipped,” he explained. “We get criticized a lot for some of the equipment we have, but God forbid we have something bad happen in a school or something here, we at least have the equipment to aid us.”

Of course, they are more than happy to go above and beyond their call of duty, but I’m sure they can’t help but feel a little worried about their own safety each time they step out and do what needs to be done in protecting our community.

“I’ve been here [in law enforcement] for 24 years and I’ve never seen the anti-police sentiment nationwide like it is now. Some of the older officers lived through the 60s and 70s and saw how things had gotten for law enforcement back then, but you also didn’t have the national media coverage like we do now.”

The Cullman Police Department has done a wonderful job in looking out for homes, our businesses and us. They teach our children how to protect themselves through various programs in the school system. Women all over Cullman have learned self-defense – thanks to our local police. The list of great things our officers do for the community goes go on and on. We can never thank them enough for the help they give us on a daily basis. If you see an officer while out and about, take a moment to let them know how much they are appreciated.

“The good thing about living in Cullman, it’s not every day, but there’s a lot of times where people just walk up to us and say, ‘Hey, I appreciate what you’re doing’,” he smiled. “That means a lot, more than people know. It helps a lot.”