The Alabama Legislature passed Senate Bill 312, signed into law in May, which expanded qualifications for the Baldwin County sheriff’s position, requiring candidates to be residents of the county for at least a year, registered voters in Baldwin for a minimum of a year, have a high school diploma or GED, be at least 25 years old, and have “three or more years of immediate prior service as a law enforcement officer having the power of arrest.” Some individuals, including a campaign backer of former Chief Deputy Larry Milstid, criticized the law for limiting potential candidates based on the “immediate” law enforcement background requirement.
For the second time in less than a year, a Baldwin County attorney has had his security pass suspended at the Baldwin County Courthouse, prohibiting him from bypassing courthouse screening without passing through a metal detector and a search of his belongings. This time, the suspension also prevents him from carrying his business-related laptop and cell phone beyond the front door.
Francis Paul Ripp has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to direct Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack to enforce the State Health Order that prohibits indoor dining, religious services, and businesses like hair salons. Ripp seeks a Writ of Mandamus to instruct Mack to enforce the order, which was authorized by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris on April 28. The lawsuit alleges that Mack’s decision not to enforce the order appears to be politically motivated, creating an immediate public health crisis in Baldwin County.
DEPUTY WILLIAM SMITH:
Baldwin County Sheriff Deputy Bill Smith, a dedicated member of the department for seven years and with a background in firefighting and service at the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, tragically lost his life while attempting to rescue distressed swimmers off a private beach on the Fort Morgan peninsula. Responding to a “swimmer in distress” call, Smith and another deputy were drawn into deeper waters, possibly due to a rip current. Despite the efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard and fellow responders, Smith was pronounced dead at a Gulf Shores emergency facility. He is being hailed as a hero for selflessly sacrificing his life to save others.