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Election Day polling locations and current voting laws
With the general election being held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, in cooperation with and the full support of the Probate Judge, District Attorney, and Circuit Clerk, would like to make voters aware of polling locations and current voting laws governing each location.
Of the 47 polls, voters are assigned specific polling locations based on their address of residence. Each polling location is staffed by trained poll workers and overseen by a Poll Inspector, who is appointed by the Election Committee. According to Alabama Voting Laws, detailed in Title 17 of the Alabama Code, The Poll Inspector is the “election poll worker in charge of a precinct…”
When arriving at your designated polling location, voters are encouraged to have photo identification ready for inspection by the poll workers. Please note that the use of video equipment, cell phone, and/or still cameras is strictly prohibited by Alabama law, inside polling precincts. Sheriff Chris Curry explains the importance of enforcing the law of keeping cameras and other recording devices from inside polling precincts, “The cornerstone of our Democracy is our right to cast our vote by secret ballot. Members of the media are not allowed inside the polling precincts during voting unless he/she is a registered voter there to cast a ballot.”
Also, in an effort to maintain a safe and easy voting process, the following Alabama voter laws will be enforced at all polling locations:
· 17-9-50: No person except appointed poll workers, appointed poll watchers, registered voters, the judge of probate, the sheriff, and deputies is to be within 30 feet of the door of the building of the polling place on Election Day.
· 17-17-17: A person loitering around a polling place may be arrested and charged with a class C misdemeanor.
· 17-9-13: After voting, an elector must leave the polling place and not return.
· 17-17-21: Any elector who takes or removes, or attempts to take or remove, any ballot from the polling place before the close of the polls; or any person who interferes with any elector when inside the polling place or when marking the ballot, or unduly influences, or attempts to unduly influence, any elector in the preparation of his or her ballot; or any elector who remains longer than the time allowed by law in the booth or compartment after being notified his or her time has expired, shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a violation.
· 17-17-38: Any person who, by bribery or offering to bribe, or by any other corrupt means, attempts to influence any elector in giving his or her vote, deter the elector from giving the same, or disturb or hinder the elector in the free exercise of the right of suffrage, at any election, shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a Class C misdemeanor.
· 17-17-43: Any person who, on Election Day, disturbs or prevents, or attempts to prevent, any elector from freely casting a ballot shall be guilty, upon conviction, of a Class A misdemeanor.
· AG’s opinion 99-00243: Private property owners that permit their property to be used as a polling place can restrict the use of that property beyond thirty feet of the entrance to the polling place. Unless otherwise permitted by private property owners, the public may use only those portions of the private property open to the public for voting purposes.
With regard to current voting laws, Sheriff Curry says, “Every voter has the protection under law to cast his/her ballot without interruption, influence, or hindrance. Each of our polling locations, whether public or private property, is gracious enough to allow voters into their facilities to cast their votes on Election Day. They open up their doors to the public; however, as property owners they do maintain their rights. Any activity outside of a 30-foot perimeter can be controlled by the property owner. No loitering may take place within the 30-foot perimeter. A voter who has cast his/her ballot must immediately leave the polling place and the perimeter and not re-enter the polling place.”
Each polling location in Shelby County will have a “No Firearm” sign posted at the entrance of the precinct, at the requests of the private property owner or governing body of the property. This will be enforced in accordance with Alabama law.
Sheriff Curry says, “Our goal is to allow every registered voter in Shelby County the right to vote in an influence-free environment. Voting is a constitutional right and it is our job to facilitate the process effectively and efficiently.”
Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween festivities can be a lot of fun for young families. Please remember these safety tips to keep your family and neighborhood groups safe.
** Never let your children trick or treat alone. Older children should go with friends and younger children should be accompanied by an adult. **
Never let younger children approach a home unattended, and teach them to never enter a home or car without prior permission from a parent or guardian.
** All children should wear reflective clothing and carry a glow stick or flashlight after dark. **
** Make sure that children can see and breathe unrestricted when wearing costumes and masks. All children’s costumes should be made from flame resistant materials. **
** Know where your children are and who they are with at all times. **
** Talk openly with your children about safety practices and do not be afraid to discuss scenarios.
Parents should inspect all candies and toys their children receive before allowing them to eat or play with it. **
Also, anyone who plans on trick-or treating in Shelby County is encouraged to visit our website, Shelbyso.com, before you leave for your outing. At our homepage you will notice the “Sex Offenders” tab. Simply click on this tab, and from here you will be able to see who the registered sex offenders are and where they are living. You will also find some other important information that may be useful to you and your family. The mapping and address feature found on the website pinpoints exactly where an offender lives.
Have a happy and safe Halloween. If anyone observes any suspicious activity on Halloween, such as acts of vandalism, they are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (205)669-4181 or 911 in the case of a true emergency.
Telephone Scam Alert - Involving Jury Duty
On Tuesday, October 22, 2014, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office received reports from local residents indicating they had received a phone call in which the calling party claimed to represent “The Shelby County Police Department.” The caller told our residents that each had failed to report for jury duty, and a warrant had been issued for his/her arrest. The caller then stated that he could accept payment for the fine over the telephone.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office would like to warn the public that no member of the Sheriff’s Office will ever solicit payment for a fine over the telephone. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office does not collect fines or solicit money for any purpose. Furthermore, the local, and state judicial system does not contact residents by phone to ask for personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth or credit card numbers.
If you receive one of these phone calls, do not provide any personal or confidential information to these individuals, and do not offer payment over the telephone.
If you have already been contacted and have already given out your personal information, please monitor your account statements and credit reports, and contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. For further information, please review the warnings posted on the U.S. Courts website at www.uscourts.gov, "Newsroom" news article "WARNING: Bogus Phone Calls on Jury Service May lead to Fraud," August 19, 2005.
Roadways are now clear
At 9:00 am on Tuesday October 14th, 2013, Shelby County Sheriff's deputies have reported that the roadways on Smokey Road in the area of Meadow View Elementary School are now clear.
Please continue to use caution as Alabama Power crews may remain in the area.
Smokey Road Advisory
At 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday October 14, 2014, Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies have reduced traffic on Smokey Road to one lane in the area of Meadow View Elementary School, due to low hanging power lines. Deputies are present and working to assist drivers in the area. Motorists are encouraged to drive cautiously and seek alternate routes until the roadway is open again.
This is the only weather related traffic problem that Sheriff’s deputies are currently working.
On Sunday October 12th, 2014, at approximately 6:15 p.m. Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies responded to New Life Church in the 11000 block of U.S. Highway 280 to investigate a burglary. Deputies discovered that a rear glass door had been smashed in and that someone had rummaged through all of the church’s offices. Money and other items were stolen from the church. This church is located in the Westover community.
Shelby County Sheriff’s investigators need your help! We want to hear from you if you know who did this. Anyone with information about this burglary is urged to contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office directly at (205)669-4181, through the Secret Witness line at (205)669-9116 or through our website at www.ShelbySO.com by clicking on the “Report Criminal Activity” link and choosing the “General Information” category.
All local church leaders along the U.S. Highway 280 corridor are encouraged to review the physical security of their churches and their policies on securing money and other valuables in the church. This is the first such church burglary we have investigated in a long time and it may have been a random act. Either way, we are asking you to help us prevent it from happening to your church.
Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies from all shifts will be patrolling our churches with increased frequency until the suspects are caught and prosecuted.
Sheriff’s Office to participate in National Night Out
On Tuesday, October 7, 2014, between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office will partner with multiple first responders, crime prevention organizations, victim resource organizations, and community businesses in Shelby County to spotlight the resources available to our community through these agencies.
This year the National Night Out events will be held at two locations: Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods parking lots in Alabaster, and the Chelsea Walmart parking lot on Hwy 280.
National Night Out began in 1984 as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, and neighborhood camaraderie.
The public will be able to view specialized equipment and resources on display from our local police and fire departments as well as the Sheriff’s Office. Also available to the public at the Alabaster location will be safety/car seat inspections. Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST’s) from the Alabaster Fire Department will all be on hand to inspect children’s car-seats and demonstrate how to properly install them.
Businesses from the community have contributed refreshments for the public, and there will be interactive informational booths on display from various agencies along with giveaways.
Awards and Promotion Ceremony
On Thursday afternoon at 4:30 pm on September 4, 2014, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office will hold its annual awards ceremony to honor Sheriff’s Office employees who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating exemplary service. The employees below will receive the award of Meritorious Service:
Lieutenant M. Hudson
Lieutenant K. Turner
Investigator C. Curenton
Investigator N. Kendrick
Deputy M. Glassford
Reserve Deputy, Lt. B. Fox
Reserve Deputy, Sgt. B. Stivers
The criteria for receiving this award are met when a deputy, acting in a professional manner, displays a high degree of initiative, job proficiency, and ability in a sensitive situation which brings credit on the Sheriff’s Office, himself/herself, and/or fellow employees. These actions for consideration are above what is normally accepted as a commendation. These actions include a significant and major contribution to the development of programs, policies or procedures, which has a substantial and positive impact on the goals of the Sheriff’s Office. Consideration also includes actions resulting from a long-term investigation that had a tremendous impact on the community.
This ceremony will not only recognize actions performed throughout an employee’s tenure but officially announce the promotion of one employee to the rank of sergeant:
Sergeant D. McCool
Sheriff Curry would like to invite the public and media alike to attend this special event. It will be held at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Training Center at 543 McDow Road, Columbiana, Alabama 35051. For more information contact Sergeant Barry Studdard at (205)669-8884.
International Recognition of Service
Sheriff Chris Curry and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office are proud to announce the recognition given to one of its employees and a volunteer chaplain from the Shelby County Law Enforcement Chaplain’s Association by the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC) on July 29, 2014. Lieutenant Mike Dehart was recognized with the Detective Stuart O. Nelson Liaison Award for extraordinary service in support of the Shelby County Chaplains Association. Lieutenant Dehart is the senior lieutenant with the Sheriff’s Office and has dedicated much of his 25 year career to working with the chaplains. Lieutenant Dehart is to be commended for his dedication and service to the citizens of Shelby County.
Chaplain Alvin (Mac) Stinson was recognized for achieving the Fellow Credential Level which is the ICPC’s highest credential given. Stinson completed over 1,000 hours of professional study, 20 years of law enforcement chaplaincy and acquired at least 40 specific credit hours of study. Stinson has dedicated his life to service and faithfully served the public and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office since 1996. He was instrumental in developing what is regarded as one of the best law enforcement chaplain’s programs in the country in Shelby County. Chaplain Stinson is to be recognized for his commitment and service to the citizens of Shelby County.
The ICPC began in 1973 following the tragic death of three federal law enforcement agents. The delivery of those death notifications was the catalyst for what would later become an international organization dedicated to “developing professional law enforcement chaplains through dynamic education and support”.
Sheriff Curry stated, “We began our chaplain’s program in 1994 and it has been a great success. These men and women have volunteered countless hours helping others in the worst possible situations. I cannot express how much I appreciate who they are, what they stand for and what they do.”
Sheriff's Office seeks public's assistance in identifying armed robbery suspects in North Shelby County
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the help of the public and the media in identifying and locating two suspects involved in a North Shelby County robbery. On Friday night at approximately 11:00 pm on July 25, 2014, two black males, with their faces partially covered, entered the Full Moon BBQ restaurant located at 4635 Hwy 280, and demanded money from the employees working behind the counter. The two suspects then fled the area, traveling in an unknown direction, and are considered to be at large.
The two suspects are described as follows:
• Large-framed light skinned black male wearing a ski mask, armed with a revolver
• Small-framed black male wearing a blue bandana, armed with an unknown type of handgun
The two males are believed to have possibly had two other accomplices occupying a white sedan. Surveillance images will be shared with the public and media after Sheriff’s investigators have processed the footage.
Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office directly at (205)669-4181, through the Secret Witness line at (205)669-9116 or through our website at www.ShelbySO.com by clicking on the “Report Criminal Activity” link and choosing the “General Information” category.