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2019 General Officer Safety Winner
Pell City (AL) Police Department
The Pell City (AL) Police Department (PCPD) has a staff of 48 with 37 full time sworn law enforcement officers, five part time sworn officers, two full time administrative assistants and four public safety assistants that cover 27.2 square miles.
Under Chief Paul Irwin (who began in April 2017) PCPD has purchased ballistic vests to replace out of date vests and obtain new vests for officers who have never had vests. Pell City has a mandatory wear policy that allows the department to receive a grant that assists them with funding. The department also purchased 10 plate carriers and 20 plates to better protect them from rifle fire. Ballistic shields have been put in the school and given to officers on patrol. Every officer was taught how to properly use a ballistic shield through training obtained through city funds or police foundation funds.
PCPD currently has monthly firearms training for the entire department. The trainings are scenario based and include shooting and movement drills with a magazine change, loading and reloading drills, malfunction drills, transition drills, weak hand and off/hand shooting, deadly force scenario situations, hostage situation scenario and elevated heart rate shooting drills among others.
Pell City PD hired two part time officers that are firearms instructors; they led an active shooter training at a high school for all personnel during the summer of 2018. PCPD has multiple officers that are firearms instructors, oleoresin capsicum instructors, a Taser instructor and use of force instructors.
In 2018 the department purchased 10 new Tasers on a lease-to-own program and every officer is issued a Taser. They also purchased a new device called a pivotal training, a target system that turns and has different shoot or no shoot targets.
The Chief developed and approved a Patrol Rifle Policy and Training Class. PCPD purchased 20,000 rounds from military surplus or off-the-state bid list to allow every officer to participate in the training. Once the officer has
passed training they are issued a shotgun and rifle.
All officers are required to wear high visibility vests while directing traffic. In 2018 every officer was recertified in C.P.R. and all officers have been trained to use a tourniquet.