Familiar officers now in new positions

WINSTON COUNTY - Area municipalities are shuffling law enforcement officers after recent action from the Winston County Commission, as well as Double Springs and Bear Creek’s police departments.
The resignation of Jacob Taylor as a deputy with the Winston County Sheriff’s Office was approved by the Winston County Commission at their Monday, July 9 meeting.
The void created by this resignation was filled when the commission in the same meeting also voted to hire Jonathan Oliver to replace Taylor as sheriff’s deputy.
Voting in favor of both of these personnel items were Commissioners Bobby Everett, David Cummings and Chairman Roger Hayes.
Taylor was hired  as police officer with the Double Springs Police Department based on a vote by the town council at their Monday, July 9, meeting with Taylor’s hire effective July 14.
Police Chief Kim Miller welcomed Taylor onboard as the replacement for Joey Montgomery, who has resigned in order to accept a full-time position with the Alabama National Guard.
Montgomery had been deployed away from the department for several months during service overseas with the 115th Signal Battalion.
“The Town of Double Springs and the Double Springs Police Department really hated to see Joey resign,” Miller said. “He had done an outstanding job with the police department.”
Montgomery had been with the department since 2010,  working as a patrol officer, Miller stated.
“Joey was really committed to the community and to the people.  He was always willing to do anything, from changing flat tires for people to whatever came along,” Miller continued.
After accepting applications for a week for Montgomery’s replacement, Miller chose Taylor.
“He has two years (experience). I always post that I am looking for somebody who’s got two years law enforcement experience and in good standing with Alabama Peace Officer standards,” Miller stated. “(Taylor) filled the need that we were looking for.”
Taylor will start out making $14 an hour with a six-month review period. Top pay for that position is $15 an hour, the chief stated.
These personnel changes have created a ripple effect, with Oliver submitting his resignation as an police officer for the town of Bear Creek.
The Bear Creek council approved accepting applications for a police officer at a special called meeting.
“As you know, Jonathan turned in his two-week notice. His last day will be (July) 15,” Mayor Connie Morrison told the council members present at the meeting.
Morrison noted the council needed to advertise for an officer with no less than two years experience with a salary ranging from $12.50 to $13.50 an hour based on experience.
“We want one who is APOST certified,” said Morrison. “We want a  minimum of two years experience. We are not going to hire just anybody  and  buy them out of a contract.”
The council voted unanimously to post the job opening. Morrison noted the town would accept applications until this Friday, July 20.
“We really appreciate Jonathan,” the mayor said. “He has been a great officer for the town of Bear Creek. We hate to lose him.”
Police Chief Shane Whitten noted it would be difficult losing  Oliver.
“He’s a great officer. You couldn’t ask for a better one,” Whitten said. “I never had one complaint on him. All I had were people bragging on him. I hate to see him go.”
The void created by Oliver’s resignation will mean the department will be extremely shorthanded until a new officer can be hired.
“With two people we were shorthanded, but  with one we are definitely going to be shorthanded,” Whitten added.
Whitten noted he wanted the council to make the right decision on hiring the new officer, which he hopes will be a well rounded officer.
“I need people who will help me work crimes or help me on a case,”  Whitten said.

See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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