Citizens Academy see real-life effects of police actions
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
Seventh in a series
Before the Hartselle Police Department Citizens Academy’s lesson on deadly force began last Thursday, students took a moment to thank HPD for its efforts Oct. 20 when a female clerk was taken hostage at Hometown Market in Hartselle.
Kathy White Goodwin, Hartselle Medical Center marketing and Senior Circle director, was at the hospital, located directly across Sparkman Street from the store, when the incident occurred.
Thanks were echoed throughout the class, but Sgt. Randy Adams said the HPD officer who fired a single shot to the suspect’s shoulder and put an end to the dangerous situation was simply doing his job.
Adams used the hostage situation at Hometown Market to explain how and when officers decide to use deadly force in any dangerous situation.
Deadly force is defined as “that degree of force that a reasonable and prudent person would conclude capable of causing death or grave bodily harm.” Deadly force is justified when there is an immediate, otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to the innocent.
Ability, opportunity and jeopardy must exist together for an officer to use deadly force.
The suspect, Larry Dean Maples, 48, of Hartselle, was not fatally wounded in the shooting. He faces one count of first degree robbery, three counts of kidnapping and one count of felony assault in connection with the incident.
Partners against crime
The Hartselle Police Department Citizens Academy was introduced to two very important members of the HPD force--Sgt. Kelly Roberts and K-9 Officer Argo.
The partners work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to keep Hartselle and all of Morgan County drug-free.
Argo, a three-year-old German shepherd, is certified by the U.S. Police Canine Association and the National Police Canine Association to sniff out marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.
Roberts is Argo’s only handler and the pair train together as often as possible. Argo’s reward for finding narcotics is tug-of-war playtime with a tennis ball on a string.
Roberts and Argo spend much of their patrol conduction traffic stop searches, but they also assist in random drug searches at local schools and are available to the business community for free random narcotics searches at their places of business.
Roberts said the HPD K-9 Unit is operated largely by contributions made by the citizens of Hartselle and local businesses.
Roberts said he believes Argo’s presence with HPD has served as a deterrent for the transportation of narcotics in Hartselle.