WEEK 2 Sheriffs Citizen Academy – Patrol Division

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WEEK 2 Sheriffs Citizen Academy – Patrol Division

Week 2 of the Cullman County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy moved from the inspiring testimonials and walking tours of Week 1 straight into the hardcore facts of life found in the Patrol Division.

Sheriff Matt Gentry opened the second week of The Academy Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm inside the new Training Center at the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office.

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After a brief explanation of the essence of the Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division, Gentry proceeded into a narrative accompanied by graphic body cam footage. The video involved himself, Deputy Cheryl Hawkins, and a subject amped up on methamphetamine on Eva Road near the Cullman Electric Cooperative.

The footage showed the Sheriff attempting to talk the subject down from his dope infused high. Despite Gentry’s experienced, well-crafted attempt at reasoning with the individual, the meth head refused to comply.

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The body cam footage showed Gentry in full physical takedown of the subject – with blood everywhere – as Deputy Hawkins utilized her pink handcuffs to eventually bring the suspect under control with a big assist from the Sheriff.

Gentry just happened to be leaving a Gospel Singing event at Cullman High School when he heard the call about the disturbance.

Gentry said: “This is just one of the countless examples of the value of our body cam technology. The facts of the situation are recorded forever on video. It also shows that things can change in no time from calm into a full-scale physical altercation within seconds. The life of a Patrol Deputy requires them to hold the unexpected as expected.”

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Next at the podium were two Patrol Division veterans – Sergeant Ryan Fortenberry and Deputy Stephen Thomas.

These two moderated field body cam footage from the Holly Pond area on December 27, 2014.

At the time, Thomas was dispatched to assist rapid responders with a mentally unstable male subject. The person of interest was threatening to harm everyone in his field of vision and beyond.

Deeper into the video, the highly agitated subject rapidly approached Deputy Ryan Fortenberry brandishing a samurai sword. The mad man’s intentions were clear; he intended to dice up Fortenberry with the sword.

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Remaining calm, Fortenberry commanded the subject to HALT. Ignoring that request, Fortenberry elected to subdue the individual using a Taser. The Taser failed.

At that point, Deputy Thomas who was slightly behind and to the right of Fortenberry fired his service weapon four times. Killing the assailant and thus saving the lives of Fortenberry and likely others at the scene.

The pair received a rousing ovation from the Academy attendees after their presentation.

Thomas was honored as a nominee for the Alabama Legislative Medal of Honor for Law Enforcement back in 2016 for his efforts related to this incident.

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After a short break, Patrol Divison Captain Ricky Blackwood both entertained and educated the students from his 30+ years with the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office.

You can see portions of Blackwood’s remarks in this video:

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Captain Blackwood also shared some profound facts and statistics about the Sheriff’s Office.

DAILY Responsibilities of the Patrol Division

• Answering Calls For Service
• Taking Reports
• Delivering Civil Papers
• Warrants
• Sex Offender Verifications
• Close Patrols
• Business Visits
• Transport Orders
• Senior Citizen Visits
• Town – Community Meetings
• Neighborhood Watch Meetings
• Volunteer Fire Department Meetings
• Interviewing Witnesses and Suspects
• Traffic Control – Enforcement
• Servicing Project Lifesaver Client Batteries
• Education & Promoting Public safety

911 CALLS Received By The Patrol Division in 2017

29,194

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WEEK 2 Sheriffs Citizen Academy – Patrol Division

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Cullman County Sheriff’s Office Citizen Academy

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WEEK 2 Sheriffs Citizen Academy – Patrol Division

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Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com.

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com.