By Erica Thomas, managing editor
CENTER POINT — The Alabama Attorney General weighed in on recent crimes in east Jefferson County after he spoke at the Trussville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2019.
When asked about recent shootings in and around Center Point, Attorney General Steve Marshall said he hopes the local agencies will all come together to stop violent crime in the area.
“What I would hope is that locally, they would do something similar to what we are doing with the Violent Crime Initiative, which is bringing state, federal and local partners together to come up with a comprehensive strategy to deal with certain areas,” said Marshall.
Marshall said law enforcement in Dallas County has seen success with the Violent Crime Initiative. He also credited former Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale for creating the Metro Area Crime Center in 2016. The center is able to predict crimes and offer resources to officers to intercept those crimes.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has continued to work with other municipalities through the Metro Area Crime Center to identify hot spots and allocate resources. Chief Deputy David Agee, the Public Information Officer for the sheriff’s office, said the ongoing work is done in all parts of the county.
“Our deputies work hard every day to prevent crime and criminal activity,” said Agee. “When we do have offenses we use every resource that we have to go after the offenders. We constantly re-evaluate our approach and make adjustments as needed.”
Marshall said it is important to evaluate law enforcement efforts regularly.
“The question is, ‘Are we allocating our resources appropriately to help deal with the issues in Center Point?’” Marshall added. “My hope would be that the sheriff’s and the chief and both federal and state officials, including Danny Carr, would come together and figure out how they can collectively work on this issue.”
Marshall said manpower matters and law enforcement presence is vital in deterring crime. Although he doesn’t have specific information on crime in east Jefferson County, Marshall said he thinks all agencies, including Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr, should put their resources together to fight violent crime.
“I would hope to see people not working in silos,” he said. “But we sit around a table with county law enforcement, local law enforcement, as well as the local prosecutors’ offices to figure out what is the best way to attack the problem. Law enforcement historically is reactive rather than proactive but when you know there are areas in which there are frequent areas of crime, then it doesn’t take much to figure out we need to be proactive in that area.”