FORT MITCHELL, AL (WTVM) - A new Sheriff's Office precinct in Russell County equals good news for residents in more ways than one. Right now it takes deputies a little more than 15 minutes to get from the Sheriff's Office to the heart of Fort Mitchell, but the grand opening of a new precinct will help response time.
As the flag rises over the new Russell County Sheriff's Office precinct, so does the sense of security in Fort Mitchell.
"The mere presence of a patrol car in a neighborhood or on the street is going to deter crime and that's what we're trying to do," said Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor.
With the recent population boom, and more people on the way, crime rates have been on a steady climb in Fort Mitchell.
Russell County Commissioner Cattie Epps told News Leader Nine, "There is a great need for a police precinct out here because where there is growth, there's going to be problems."
"Thefts have gone up tremendously in the outer areas," said Fort Mitchell resident Mack Ballard. Ballard says one of his friends has been victimized several times, "He got hit five times and nobody saw anything, even with an alarm. We knew we needed help and people were saying people are stealing everything that's not tied down out here."
Sheriff Taylor says he hopes by cutting the ribbon to this new facility, he will cut down on crime, "The call volume has picked up in the last twelve months. We've had a lot of problems with new construction, new houses being left at night. We've had a lot of copper thefts, a lot of air conditioners, and appliance theft out of the new homes. In general the crime rate has gone up in the area."
The precinct will have deputies working 24/7 and it will also act as a post for Life Line Ambulance service, bringing more safety to the community.
Ballard added, "It's like being in the wild west out here, I've been here six years and I feel safer today than I have in six years!"
Deputies at the Fort Mitchell precinct are getting to work right away.