‘The safety and security of our citizens and our community comes first’

Sheriff Matt Gentry addresses rising fuel costs

File photo

CULLMAN, Ala. – With an average of seven patrols per shift, not including two township deputies and a Lieutenant, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office looks at strategic planning to help conserve fuel while continuing coverage of the county.

“No matter what we face here at the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office, the safety and security of our citizens and our community comes first. Regardless of the obstacle, that cannot and will not change,” said Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry.

Gentry stated between the seven district patrol deputies and a Lieutenant average roughly 300 miles per shift, covering a total area of more than 700 sq. miles. The increase in fuel has caused an increase in expense.

“We have seen an increase of approximately 20% over the past two months,” said Gentry.

To help lower the costs, Gentry said deputies are keeping an eye on the gas gauge while continuing patrols. However, if fuel costs continue to rise, the department has a plan in place.

“We have instructed our deputies to be vigilant with the rising cost of fuel. It is our job to take care of Cullman County and to be out in our communities,” he said. “If the rise continues, protocols and policies will be implemented, similar to our COVID procedures. For example, non-emergency calls and Incident reports that can be, will be handled over the phone.”

Though procedures are in place to help combat rising rates, Gentry said the safety of Cullman County’s citizens will always be first.

“Gas prices affect everyone—law enforcement, however is unique. Our citizens are the most important thing to the Sheriff’s Office. If the rise does continue, we will take a vigilant approach to managing our tax dollars. Cullman County citizens’ safety and security are our first priority,” he said. “Whether gas prices go up or down, the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office will continue to do our job – to serve the citizens and our communities. We have, and will continue to be, a proactive force throughout Cullman County.”

According to Gentry, the department receives a lot of support from the Cullman County Commission. Without the support and the Commission’s budget allocations it would be a more difficult task.

“In this time of economic uncertainty, one of our greatest assets at the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office is the Cullman County Commission. The Commission sets the budget, and realizes the importance of law enforcement. They continue to be 100 percent supportive of the CCSO, and help make sure we are able to continue to do our job.”

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