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Abbeville’s Police Department working overtime to keep community safe

Officers are working to catch suspects from not one, but two recent shootings.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 3:31 PM CDT
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ABBEVILLE, Ala. (WTVY) - Abbeville’s Police Department is fully staffed, with only nine officers.

Their day-to-day is typically busy.

“Working wrecks, responding to calls, doing information reports for people, the court proceedings that we have to deal with, we’ve made arrests for trafficking drugs just this past week from local individuals here,” says Eric Blankenship, Abbeville Chief of Police.

Now, they’re working to catch suspects from not one, but two recent shootings.

“I know it’s frustrating for the people here in the community because things don’t happen quite as quick as they would like, but it’s even more frustrating on us,” explains Blankenship. “We have procedures that we have to follow, we have guidelines that we have to go by, we have to do search warrants, we have to collect evidence.”

It’s their top priority, and the department says these acts won’t be tolerated.

“It’s not acceptable, we’re not going to condone it,” continues Blankenship. “We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that these people are off the streets, that they’re convicted, and we ensure that this sets a message to anybody else that wants to do this here in our community.”

They protect around 2,800 people, but the department doesn’t have the same resources or manpower as bigger cities.

“We don’t have a major crime lab here to process everything,” explains Blankenship. “All our forensic stuff we depend on it going to Montgomery, and then when it goes to Montgomery, it’s in line with everybody else throughout the state.”

The extra hours put in every week aren’t compensated.

“There’s no overtime budgeted for my officers,” says Blankenship. “So, there’s a lot of my officers, including myself, that we just work because we love what we do, and we want to help the community.”

If anyone has information regarding the two recent shooting incidents in Abbeville, there were no injuries at either, contact the Henry County Sheriff’s office, Abbeville Police Department, or Crimestoppers.

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