CULLMAN, Ala. – Last week Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry was part of a delegation from Alabama that traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas to get an up-close look and learn more about the drug and humanitarian crises happening there.
Gentry saw first hand the crises our nation is facing, especially with Title 42 ending this week. “Title 42 is the name of an emergency health authority. It was a holdover from President Donald Trump’s administration and began in March 2020. The authority allowed U.S. officials to turn away migrants who came to the U.S.-Mexico border on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19,” reported the Associated Press.
“One of the first things I learned is the perception that we have of how bad the border is… times it by 10 and that’s the reality,” Gentry said. Of people attempting to cross the border illegally, he said, “The reality is, what they are facing more on the border is the 18- to 24-year-old single males; that’s the problem that they are facing.”
Claimed Gentry, “The biggest issue is there the state and locals are getting zero assistance from the current leadership in Washington.”
Gentry said seeing what law enforcement officers at the border are dealing with first hand helped him get the full picture of the seriousness of the issue. He believes that depite the Texas border being far away from Cullman, the issue could overflow to affect the community. Gentry said he is taking action to keep the Cullman community protected.
“No. 1, we are educating the community,” he said. “I think educating the community to the issues at hand is the first thing that you have to do.”
The second thing Gentry said he is focused on is educating his deputies about what they are seeing, how to combat it and educating them on what to look for when it comes illegal immigration and drugs, especially fentanyl.
“One of the things I’m very proud of is our law enforcement here. Our deputies are very proactive. They’re out on the roads, they’re paying attention to what’s happening,” he said. “That’s a good thing for our community because we’re very observant and frankly we’re not going to put up with the nonsense. I’ve always been blessed and proud as we have a good base of support of our citizens here.”
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