Tuscumbia, Alabama

National Guard Counterdrug Training

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The Colbert County Sheriff's Office participated in a training event in cooperation with the Alabama National Guard "Counterdrug" Program. Sheriff Williamson and eight of our deputies participated in a class where experienced pilot instructors advised our department on the resources available to us through this valuable counterdrug program. Deputies learned scenarios in which this National Guard Division can be implemented to assist our department in drug related searches and the criteria necessary in order for us to be able to request this type assistance. Groups of four deputies each were given a "ride along" helicopter ride so they could learn the techniques and safety issues involved with being a passenger on this type LUH 72 LAKOTA helicopter. Seat belts, harnesses and earphone head gear were all used in each ride. They were taught features such as night vision capability and spot lights used from the air in search missions. They discussed methods of communication between the pilots and the law enforcement ground personnel that would be used during any mission. This was a valuable training experience for our department to be involved in and we want to express our appreciation to the Alabama National Guard and the two pilots who came to Tuscumbia to train our deputies. We want to be able to use every available means at our disposal to fight drug crimes in our area. We will attempt to have another class in the near future for the deputies who were not able to attend so that all of our personnel have the knowledge necessary to work with the National Guard Counterdrug Team if ever needed.

Included in this photo are L to R: Andy Wayne Smith a member of Colbert County Rescue, Sheriff Frank Williamson, Chief Jim Heffernan, Dep. Durand Prince, Dep. Wesley Withers, Sgt. Dan Coggins, (two pilots whose names we are protecting due to their sensitive line of work), Dep. Joseph Niedson, Dep. Johnny White, Dep. Jim Berryman, Dep. Jeremy Edgmon, and Dep. Marc Moore. 

(Click the photo below to be directed to the website for information on Alabama National Guard Counterdrug Program)



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