Sheriff’s office handled gruesome case well

Published 12:06 am Thursday, September 4, 2008

I read with interest John Archibald’s column in the Birmingham News regarding the recent gruesome murders in Shelby County.

Actually, his column wasn’t about the murders, but about the fact that they were not handled the way he thought they should have been handled.

Now let’s see, how much experience does John Archibald have in law enforcement?

Oh, well then, what kind of education in law enforcement does he have? Oh, well then, what exactly makes him an authority on law enforcement? I thought as much.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s department is among the more professionally run law enforcement organizations in the country.

When Sheriff Curry was first elected, he needed to fill the job of Chief Deputy. Did he use the good ole’ boy network that is common in (as Archibald called us) “Hazzard County?”

No, he insisted on a search for the most qualified person for the job, regardless of where that person was working. He found that person in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Police Department. Chief Deputy John Samaniego now has more than 32 years experience in law enforcement and is one of the finest, most professional law enforcement officers anywhere. And is very effective in running a very professional department.

The handling of this latest tragedy was done by the book in law enforcement; the Hoover Police Department, Shelby County District Attorney’s office, Shelby County Coroner’s office, Alabama Department of Public Safety including the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshall’s office, and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force were all immediately asked to assist in the investigation. Working together, with little to go on, they were able to quickly arrest four subjects within five days of discovering the victims.

I’d say this would deserve our special thanks to Sheriff Curry and a hearty “job-well-done” pat on the back! But instead, Archibald would rather complain that no one saw fit to invite him to be included in the investigation.

He’s like a little boy wanting to ride around in a cop car so he can “see the action.” It’s too bad we have reporters such as Archibald who would rather whine about how they would like for things to be done to personally suit them rather than reporting the news as it happened.

As for this resident of Shelby County, I’m extremely grateful for the professional, effective job all of our law enforcement officers are doing in Shelby County. Thank you to each and every one of them.

Al Knight