New sheriff deputizes local police officers

Newly sworn in Sheriff John Samaniego deputizes municipal officers. (File)

Newly sworn in Sheriff John Samaniego deputizes municipal officers. (File)

By JON HARRSION / Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Jan. 13, newly sworn in Sheriff John Samaniego deputized the remaining members of the Shelby County Sheriffs Department and surrounding police departments.

Most officers were sworn in on Jan. 10 at Samaniego’s inauguration but the officers who were sworn in during the Jan. 13 ceremony were on duty or unable to be present at the inaugural swearing in.

Deputizing municipal officers is a force multiplier for the Sheriff’s Department, said Sheriff’s office Sgt. Clay Hammac.

“Deputizing these officers allows them to carry out their law enforcement duties outside their municipal jurisdiction but within Shelby County,” said Hammac.

Samaniego addressed his new staff and let them know how appreciative he was for their hard work and service to their cities and county.

Officer Jason Barksdale from the Pelham Police Department was one of the municipal officers deputized during the ceremony.

“This is my first time being sworn in with Shelby County,” said Barksdale. “It feels good to know that I am extra covered with my county and within my city.”

Officers from the Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force, Columbiana Police Department and Pelham Police Department were among those deputized during the ceremony.

Outgoing Sheriff Chris Curry, whose official last day is Friday, Jan. 15, was also present for the deputizing.

Incoming Sheriff Samaniego will officially take office on Monday, Jan. 19.