WALKER COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Walker County Sheriff’s Office will open its’ third substation this year in the Curry community, officials announced this week.
Sheriff Nick Smith has been spreading resources to various parts of the large county. Curry is an unincorporated area near Smith Lake and is north of Jasper.
“There are a lot of people that live in that area on the north side, and there are a lot of businesses up there and there a lot of opportunities for our deputies to be seen in that community,” said Nick Key, Director of Operations at the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.
Key said deputies have already had success with new substations in communities of Sipsey and Townley. So far, they have handled around 40 calls in Sipsey.
“The east side deputy has a substation on the east side, he doesn’t have to come to Jasper for everything he can just use that substation,” said Key.
Key said filing a report, taking a break, or holding a suspect for jail transportation can all be done at the new facility. It will save the deputy and neighbors a trip to the county seat of Jasper.
The plan aims to keep more officers in service within assigned areas. Curry is home to businesses like banks and pharmacies, that could become a target for criminals.
“Pharmacies are often a target of robberies, and I know several pharmacists who have been held at gunpoint, and robbed,” said Beth Richardson, a pharmacist at Curry Discount Pharmacy.
The substation will be located in the same strip mall parking lot that houses Richardson’s pharmacy.
“We are here until after dark, especially in the winter time and there is usually 3 or 4 of us up here, and just to know that there is a police presence close and we’re not having to rely on them from Parrish or Oakman to get to us is huge,” said Richardson.
Since Curry is home to several expensive vacation properties, patrolling is a year-round job.
“Those are prime targets for thieves to come in, they know nobody is going to be there in the winter time, they can come in and steal whatever they want, but if those thieves know that that substation is there and they know that we have deputies that may utilize, then that is going to deter some of those thefts right off the top,” said Key.
The Curry substation should open in the next few weeks. According to Key, a fourth location will eventually be located in the community of Parrish.
At least two deputies will be assigned to each area per shift, Key said.