Police Force Future Uncertain in Paint Rock

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PAINT ROCK, Ala. (WHNT) - These are contentious times in Paint Rock.

During a rowdy, and sometimes loud city council meeting, council members discussed the possible disbanding of the police force.

It’s not a big police force. There is Chief Billy Wilson and two officers. All three of them are part-time employees.

Not a big force. They do what they can, but council members say the department may be too expensive.

"We have had an audit or a review over our books and our auditor said it was not economically feasible for us to have a police department,” said Council member Betty Putnam.

But Chief Wilson, and many of the locals, say the mayor’s plan has nothing to do with money.  They say it has everything to do with the mayor’s son.  At Tuesday’s meeting, Chief Wilson didn’t hold back confronting Mayor Nevel on her ground.

"There were never any problems between me and you Mayor until your son got arrested."

Joseph Nevel stands at the center of this storm in Paint Rock.

Paint Rock police arrested Mayor Nevels’ son Joseph in January for allegedly contributing to the delinquency of a minor, indecent exposure, and theft.

Joseph’s troubles didn’t end with that brush with law enforcement.

On February 4, he was arrested again when Chief Wilson says Joseph threatened to kill an officer.

Many residents in attendance said the small town of about 185 people needs law enforcement and are scared the council will disband the force.

"Drugs, more drugs, people filtering in here drinking beer driving around the neighborhoods,” said Christy Phelps

Before voting on a proposal to disband the police force, Paint Rock Town Council members want to look at the cost of maintaining their court system.  Then they will consider getting rid of the police department.

Mayor Nevel turned down an opportunity to speak with WHNT NEWS 19 about the allegations from Chief Wilson.


  • J.R.

    Very disappointing and very unethical for the Mayor to abuse her powers and then bully a few members of the council to following along. Her actions are unethical and she will end up in jail for ethics violations probably right beside her thug dope head son.

  • J.R.

    She really cares about the Town. NO- she only cares about her 41 yr old son that has turned out to be wonderful productive member of society. He is a pervert and a sexual predator.

  • Cindy, concerned Paint Rock Citizen

    Looks like she really just step down and resign. She has brought embarrassment to the Town.

    • Cindy, concerned Paint Rock Citizen

      I think some kinfolk to the council died in a car wreck on 72 and they wanted speeding slowed down.

      • Thaddeus Hornebuckle.

        No, the mayor and her cronies thought it would be a good idea, to set up speed traps to milk the citizens of more money.

        Little tiny, hole in the wall town, doesn’t need more law enforcement. Its ironic that this little stunt has backfired on the idiot you call mayor.

        Collecting revenue like highway robbers is not police enforcement.

        Men of Paintrock, grow a spine, become more vigilant, and police your own community. You don’t need this idiot for chief of police, making revenue runs on a busy highway that so many people travel back and forth to work.

        For there to be a crime, there needs to be a victim. The only victims I see here, are the ones being milked dry.

    • just me

      Funny how the only ones that think this is a speed trap must have been pulled over for speeding! And further more! If u don’t think paint rock needs a police department if u have kids and ever had a stupid methhead laying in a ditch in ur yard in a ditch

  • Cindy, concerned Paint Rock Citizen

    Tell me how it is corrupt there Wake Up ? Please tell how you are an authority of the corruption in the town? Who is corrupt ?

  • Bobby

    I really don’t see how they can enforce law and order in Paint Rock when they are sitting at the gas station in Gurley or cruising around in Huntsville as is usually the case.

  • Kathy Bragg

    This is ridiculous that the mayor has the authority to disband a police department. What about the innocent citizens of Paint Rock. If there is no police department, doesn’t she know that the people will take justice into their own hands. That to me means her dumb druggie son may end up with vigilante justice taking care of him instead of the police department. The police also have to protect those who in society really don’t need to be protected, although that’s their job to protect and serve even the worse of society. Without them her son may be what’s called a sitting duck for the normal people who won’t hesitate to protect themselves from harm.

  • cole

    Punish the good folks for what the bad folks do . Sounds like this mayor needs to be in Washington instead of Paint Rock .

  • Everett Chandler

    Law enforcement, even in smaller, areas to some degree is needed or things can escalate out of hand. This is as long as the law is not corrupt and I am not saying it is, I’m just clarifying. Law enforcement officers that are part-time may be sacrificing a lot more than full-time law enforcement. Chances are they have other jobs or draw retirement to make ends meet. My solution would involve that they look into how much a “Mayor” plus other administrative and clerical employees may be paid. Funds could then be allocated from those positions to the ones who are putting themselves in harm’s way and not behind a desk in a heated and cooled office. The fact that the mayor is using her power to resolve a personal conflict may or may not be the issue but if it is, she has no business holding that position. A mayor should be be what any office should be, a servant of the people, by the people and for the people. She should have at heart the best interests of the people who put her there and pay part of her salary. It should not be an office of “Power”. It should be an office of doing what the citizen’s need. Keep this in mind, “even the mayor is not or at least should not be above the law”.

  • John

    The town does need some type of law enforcement but Billy Wilson is not the man for the job. He has caused trouble every where he has been. Billy Wilson and Shirley Johnson think they run the police force and the town. They are out of control and need to be stopped. I think they are pocketing the money from the police force that is why she supports him she likes the stolen money just like him

  • JB

    the town of paint rock was just FINE when there was NO police force….the town ios really too small to sustain its own force..losing the joke police force wouldnt hurt a thing…except the pockets of those profiting from it…i mean really…..as many speeding tickets as get written on that lil stretch of highway…137.00 +++ a pop…they ought to have PLENTY of money not to be complaining that theres not enough money to go around….B.S. if theres not any money its bcause someone is stealing it..or someone has their hands in the cookie jar…..SMH

  • Cindy, concerned Paint Rock Citizen

    The wonderful CPA report would have indicated if there was any malfeasance occurring, unless it’s the Mayor directly getting a cut of the money off the top.

  • Bob Roberts, fed up with white trash.

    Most of the folks bashing the police are the ones who like lawlessness and are part of the lawlessness. They are the ones who resent authority of any sort, including the Constitution. They are the ones who commit DUI as they drive up in the valley to kill Bambi. They are the one sitting home waiting on their check from all hard working taxpayers so they can cash it and go get their weed or their fix of meth. Most of the bashers have their own illegal agenda in wanting the police dept gone. Seriously, if you are doing nothing wrong, then I don’t see how you would have any contact,negative or otherwise, with the police dept. I drive down highway 72 daily and I know the speed limit is 65 and I don’t get stopped. Seems pretty simple to me.

  • just me

    Yea paint rock don’t need a police department they love having all the methheads around there as their neighbors cause that’s what about ever other house is!

  • The Silver Fox

    One of the biggest meth heads and meth cooks in Jackson county lives in the neighborhood. The police dept is a good thing but they need someone else to be the chief. That guy is a moron. I obey the law and do the speed limit but I was pulled over for going 3 miles over the speed limit. He harassed me for about 15 minutes then let me go. When he’s not harassing people he’s sitting in Gurley talking to their cops. Probably got him a few doughnuts too. I’ve also seen them in woodville. That’s not their jurisdiction. Once they cross the river bridge they have zero authority. I think it’s a load of crap. Get one or two officers that aren’t crooked and get them to do their job. That’s probably impossible though.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      You may need to learn the laws before you say they have zero authority. A certified law enforcement officer can make an arrest anywhere in the state of Alabama. They must just have the case adjudicated in that jurisdiction’s court.

  • chuck

    Threaten to kill an officer? The officer should have “FEARED FOR HIS LIFE” and shot the S.O.B. graveyard dead on the spot.

  • John

    Everyone keeps talking about the drugs in the town and y’all say the police force has cleaned paint rock up but I can’t remember one arrest the police force has made for meth?

  • Bob Roberts, fed up with white trash.

    I guess the Mayor will won’t the Sheriff’s Dept disbanded and fired now since they arrested her outstanding son last night for DUI with more charges to follow.

  • Bob Roberts, fed up with white trash.

    All, please keep John informed on all arrests !! He apparently thinks he knows every arrest made.

  • concerened mom

    Lance is back in jail… What is mommy dearest going to do now? We all know that stupid B**** is the problem, not the police department.

    • Thaddeus Hornebuckle.

      Yes she is. So much so, that she connived forming a police department where one was not needed, in order to prey upon folks going to work for a living.

  • Paint Rock Volunteer Fireman who knows the truth.

    Who made the arrest? Oh it was the Sheriffs Dept. You see Mayor, you can hug the Sheriff outside the Council Meeting all you want, but the law is the law and your son violates the law and goes to jail whether Paint Rock Police Dept or Jackson County Sheriff’s Office does it. You should resign before you end up arrested on Ethics Violations. At least you be bunk mates with your son.

  • John

    Bob I don’t think I no so much but if you would have read the post it said for meth people like you are the ones that stir up bullshi without reading the whole post red neck

  • Bob Roberts. Fed up with white trash like John

    Big John, does it make you feel BIG to use vulgarity and foul language in your posts? Way to show your education or lack of it. Oh, btw it’s KNOW, not no you hick. Just go back in your trailer and fry something.

  • fayeo

    Don’t. Blame.a woman for loving her son,can’t help what path they take thru life.A true mom keeps on loving..Don’t mean they agree tho.Look at your child .,what would you do.

Comments are closed.