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New deputy hired to patrol rural roads

Paul Casteel has joined the Crenshaw County Sheriff's Department and will serve as a special traffic deputy, patrolling the county's rural roads and highways for speedsters, according to Sheriff Charles West.

Because, said West, people living alongside these roads shouldn't have to fear for their lives.

"One of our main jobs is protection," said West. "And we have received complaints throughout the county, from one end to the other, about speeders. I've talked to some residents out on these country roads who are afraid to cross the road and go to the mailbox."

West said the problem has become especially bad in the morning and afternoon hours as commuters utilize these back roads for quick trips to and from work.

But Casteel, said West, is the solution and his hiring is a direct response to the public's complaints.

"We want people who live in these areas to call and let us know where and when this is going on," said West. "We want the times. Paul is going to be out there. He may be out there an hour, two hours or all day. He may be there in the wee hours of the morning or the wee hours of the night."

Originally from Ocala, Fl., Casteel served with the US Army as a Ranger and followed his parents to Louisville, Al., after retiring from the military. A nine-year veteran in law enforcement, Casteel worked extensively in Barbour County before joining the CCSD.

West said hiring someone with Casteel's credentials for a position in a small-county Sheriff's office is rare.

"It's very hard to find a certified officer to hire," he said. "When we found out about Paul and found out he wanted to make a change we were glad to have him."

CCSD has suspect in mailbox vandalism

For anyone in the Brantley area that had a mailbox damaged from Aug. 25 through Aug. 27, 2004, West reported that the CCSD does have a suspect and the case will be going to court.

Those living in the Brantley are who were victims of this vandalism can file a report at the Sheriff's Office.