Email stirs controversy among East Alabama police

By Web Staff – email

OPELIKA, Ala.  (WTVM) –   Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says he is disappointed after seeing an internal Opelika Police Department email saying mutual aid will be pulled from the sheriff's office.

The email from Chief Thomas Mangham to his four department heads sent to News Leader 9 anonymously reads:

      "Effective immediately: We will not answer any mutual aid with the Lee County Sheriff's Department unless a it involved a Deputy is in a immediate life threatening situation. Chief."

Opelika City Administrator John Seymore said "If you want to call it a mistake, fine, I'm not going to call it a mistake. I'm going to say it was an internal correspondence and that it was never intended to change policy and that in my discussions with him he understands we will continue to provide mutual aid."

Chief Mangham would not comment on the email, expect to say he did send it.

Opelika Police Department will follow state mutual aid guidelines, respond to life or death situations and SWAT team obligations.

However, other requests will now be decided on a case by case basis.

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