Alabama AG Steve Marshall addresses national law enforcement conference
HOOVER – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Monday delivered opening remarks at the National Public Safety Partnership Symposium, as did Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith and United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Jay Town.
The symposium was the largest in the program’s history, with 21 major cities from around the nation represented in the crowd of hundreds of law enforcement leaders. Marshall, Hale, Smith and Town spoke (before Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a keynote speech) and later participated in a press conference about efforts to curb violent crime in Birmingham.
All of the speakers stressed collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement, with Sessions garnering a great deal of praise for his role in restoring morale to the American law enforcement community.
“I have not seen a more active attorney general in supporting law enforcement than Jeff Sessions,” Marshall emphasized.
In his remarks to the media, Marshall acknowledged that Alabama was in a rough position when it comes to violent crime, but outlined that significant progress was being made under new state and federal leadership.
“In Alabama, we know the violent crime statistics – we’re in the top ten in overall violent crime, we’re in the top five in the murder rate that exists in the state,” Marshall said. “It is obvious that that is a priority for us. I can tell you, as the chief law enforcement officer in the state, I have found no better partners than the three US Attorneys in the state of Alabama in working to deal with this issue.”
At today’s National Public Safety Partnership Symposium, Attorney General Steve Marshall discussed the fight against violent crime in Alabama. Watch an excerpt of the AG’s remarks: pic.twitter.com/kWBCYvPfIC
— AG Steve Marshall (@AGSteveMarshall) September 24, 2018
Because of collaboration between law enforcement entities in the state, violent criminals – “Alpha criminals” as Sessions coined them – are being put away.
“We’ve had over 240 arrests of violent criminals that we’ve done along with our federal partners, that are being prosecuted federally,” Marshall explained.
While the success has been tangible, the hard work is not nearly done yet.
“[W]e cannot believe that we can rest on where we’ve come, when we know that a law enforcement officer was ambushed in Selma just a couple of days ago. We know that there continues to be work to be done, and I would hope in a state that values the work of law enforcement, not only are we praying for that officer and his family, but also that we stand up just as [Sessions] has done nationally for law enforcement that work every day to be able to make our communities safer,” Marshall outlined.
There was plenty of evidence of the tremendous working relationships and mutual respect between the Alabama law enforcement officials speaking, with Town saying Marshall “understands law enforcement and what we’re trying to do … there’s no greater friend to law enforcement than Steve Marshall.” Then, in his remarks, Hale lauded Town’s leadership, saying the US Attorney makes local and federal crime fighters “feel like we’re on the same team.”
The partnership is all about teamwork. And, as Smith summarized, reducing violent crime in Alabama truly is a group effort.
“We cannot have weak links … we need all hands on deck,” Smith emphasized.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn