Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Expands to Waterways
With the help of a military donation, the Sheriff’s Department can save more lives with its own lifeboat.
PICKENS COUNTY, AL (WCBI) – The Pickens County Sheriff’s Department has a new lifeboat.
For 30 miles, the Tombigbee River stretches through Pickens County, Alabama. And Pickens County Sheriff Todd Hall said it’s time for his department to go aquatic.
“Last year alone, we had two flooding incidents that required us to have some assets for the river. We were fortunate to get help from the local people, community members who came and donated their equipment to us. And that only reinforced the idea that we had to have something or some capability through our sheriff’s department, ”Sheriff Hall said.
The department secured the boat through a donation program with the US military.
After a year and a half of work, with the help of donations from the community, Justin White, the prison administrator, said it can now be a multi-use tool for the department.
“We will use it to help stranded boaters, or God forbid someone drowns and we have to help in a search and rescue or recovery effort. We will do whatever is necessary to take care of the people who use this waterway, ”White said.
Sheriff Hall said the boat gives the department the ability to help more people, especially when state resources are not available.
“A lot of the time, when you have an emergency on the river, time really matters. In the past, we have had to rely on state resources to get in. This allows us to be prepared and to be able to respond in a timely manner, ”said Sheriff Hall.
White said this resource was a resource the department had needed for some time. Now the wait for help is over.
“Having that helps us make sure that no matter who they are within the boundaries of this more remote county, we are able to help them and keep them safe and let them enjoy the waterways,” White said.
All Sheriff’s Deputies will be trained in water safety protocols with assistance from the Alabama Marine Police.