City and county law enforcement

officials report that following

the countywide devastation

last week, there has been no discernible

increase in criminal

activity, despite widespread

power outages.

“I want to assure the public

that that they are not without

law enforcement,” said Sheriff

Mike Rainey. “There is still an

increased presence of officers in

all parts of the county.”

In the City of Cullman officials

did note a considerable

increase in the number of intoxicated

drivers since last week’s

disaster, and have attributed the

findings to road blockades and

the high number of individuals

away from work.

“Over the past days, many

people have been away from

work,” said Assistant Police

Chief Craig Green. “This may be

why we’re seeing an increase in

some of those activities. Also, we

have doubled the number of

officers within the city limits, so

our coverage and the blockades

have given us more interaction

with the public.”

Green said that normally the

city department has around

eight officers on patrol; on

Monday there were 24, according

to the assistant chief.

In Hanceville, where power

has yet to be restored, Police

Chief Mark Bowers said that

police have had some stormrelated

thefts.

“This afternoon [Monday],

we arrested five individuals for

theft of property,” he said. “They

were posing as workers aiding in

the cleanup effort and stealing

metal from the Chevron station.”

The countywide curfew,

which has been lifted for the

City of Cullman with the exception

of heavily damaged areas

and those without power,

remains in the rest of the county.

“We’re not going after people

who are out trying to make it to

work, but I can assure you if we

find people hanging around

stores or damaged residences or

other places where they have no

business being, we will take

action,” said Rainey.

All three law enforcement

agencies offered a message of

gratitude for all of the hours

spent protecting the community

to their employees and to agencies

that have come from other

areas to assist, including the

Blount County Sheriff’s Office,

Fish and Wildlife Enforcement

Agents, the National Guard and

various other agencies from

throughout the state.

“Our job would be a lot harder

if these folks had not come

here to assist us in enforcement,”

said Bowers. “Hanceville

police officers would have a

hard time doing this alone.”

ä Sam Rolley can be reached

by e-mail at srolley@cullmantimes.

com or by telephone at

734-2131 ext. 225.

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