Authorities in Lauderdale County join forces like never before

FLORENCE, Ala. - The partnership between two law enforcement agencies in the Shoals has taken a big step.

When it’s a major incident, it doesn’t matter what color your uniform is. The bottom-line, law enforcement officers join forces to battle crime.

Since taking office nearly two years ago, Sheriff Rick Singleton and Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler have worked to unite the agencies.

111016-sheriff-rick-singleton“We’ve got a great working relationship right now with Florence PD. We have joint roll calls together; we have a major crimes unit now comprised of investigators from the sheriff’s office and the Florence Police Department,” said Sheriff Singleton.

And now Singleton has added Special Deputies to his office. More than a dozen Florence Police Officers have become sworn deputies. They are members of Florence’s SWAT Team and K9 officers.

Singleton feels it’s important to give these police officers the same protection his deputies have through the Alabama Constitution.

“When I became sheriff I just felt like since we use them we need to appoint them as special deputies, so when they are out in the county working under the umbrella of the sheriff’s office, they would have the same protections that the sheriff has,” explained Singleton.

This includes immunity from being sued if something happens while working under the sheriff’s instruction.

Sheriff Singleton said he will be swearing-in the Hazardous Devices Unit with Florence PD in the coming days.

Singleton also wants to explore compensating the police officers when they respond to incidents in the county upon his request.