Helena joins mutual aid agreement

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2006

The City of Helena has joined a number of other local municipalities in entering into a mutual aid agreement under the Department of Homeland Security.

Helena Police Chief Doug Jones said the mutual aid agreement will help the city work better with other municipalities.

&8220;This helps us assist other agencies and opens them up for helping us in an emergency,&8221; Jones said. &8220;This also allows our men and women to work outside of the city limits and be covered under insurance.&8221;

Jones said the city&8217;s entering into the mutual aid agreement also makes them National Incident Management (NIM) compliant, which opens the city up to receive federal grants.

Other departments that have joined in the mutual aid agreement include Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Columbiana, Montevallo, Calera, Vincent, the University of Montevallo and the Shelby County Sheriff&8217;s office.

Jones said the program, which was initiated in Shelby County by Pelham Police Chief Alan Wade, takes an unspoken agreement between cities one step further.

&8220;We already had a good working relationship for years,&8221; Jones said. &8220;It&8217;s always been a handshake between cities and it&8217;s come to the point now where we need to take the next step. We feel that it&8217;s a very good idea.&8221;