West seeks re-election as sheriff

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2006

Crenshaw County Sheriff Charles G. West has announced his candidacy for re-election. He has served as sheriff for the past eight years.

West holds a degree in Criminal Justice and has over 32 years of experience in state and local law enforcement, which includes working with the Alabama Bureau of Investigations Narcotics Division.

West said that during his 1998 campaign, one of his goals was to automate and upgrade the Crenshaw County Sheriff's Office.

&#8220When I took office, everything was done with paper and pencil, and there was not a penny in the budget for automation,” West said. &#8220Almost all of our paperwork is now in electronic form, and we have information at our fingertips that was not previously available.”

There are computers in both the sheriff's office and the jail that manage seven relational databases that furnish required information for the State of Alabama and that provide an overall efficient operation of the sheriff's office, according to West.

&#8220Each deputy has a laptop for use while on patrol and remote access to both of our databases,” he said. &#8220They also have access to the State LETS system for use as an investigative tool when it comes to dealing with violators.”

&#8220And, I did this at no cost to the taxpayers of Crenshaw County.”

West said that he had established two special funds during his years in the sheriff's office to augment the existing Pistol Permit Fund. These two funds include the Drug Fund and the Work Release Fund.

&#8220These three funds have provided over $138,400 in 2005 of non-taxpayer money that was used to support the sheriff's office and the jail,” West said.

This money, according to West, is used to provide communication devices, along with protective equipment for and schooling for deputies. In addition, it has also been used for the purchase of two vehicles for jail use, jail operations and improvements, and for drug enforcement.

West said that after months of effort and waiting, he was able to establish a substation in Highland Home.

&#8220It is operational, and available deputies will stop by to receive complaints and check for messages left on the answering machine,” he said. The phone number to the Highland Home substation is 537-4029.

Crenshaw County currently has seven deputies, and West is in the process of hiring a deputy who will be assigned to the Highland Home School and the substation.

&#8220With increased drug trafficking, delivery of warrants and civil papers, among other things, we are in desperate need of additional officers,” he said.

West and his wife, Paulette (Owens) West, have been married for 39 years. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

&#8220I know there are situations that may arise when everyone cannot agree,” he said. &#8220I have always had an open-door policy for anyone to discuss issues, problems or concerns, and that policy will continue.”

&#8220I have always appreciated your support, and I ask you to allow me to continue to upgrade our county law enforcement and to continue to reduce crime and drug trafficking in Crenshaw County.”