Providing more information to protect members of law enforcement

'AROWS' proposed for police officers

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Over the last 12 months, seven members of law enforcement were shot and killed in Alabama. One group is pushing to give officers an edge when they come up on a suspect.

It’s a rapid notification system. Anything to give officers, troopers, or deputies information to protect them out on the streets is more than welcomed. The Alabama Sheriff’s Association is pushing what they call the Alabama Responding Officer System, or AROWS.

Under AROWS, any member of law enforcement could access information to see if a person has a valid conceal carry gun permit of if they had a criminal history.

“It’s tremendously important. A traffic stop is one of the most dangerous thing an officer can encounter each day. Sometimes they say routine traffic stop. There is nothing routine about it,” said Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith.

In January of last year, Birmingham Police Sergeant Wytasha Carter was shot and killed responding to a robbery call. In February of this year, Kimberly Police Officer Nick O’Rear was shot and killed during the chase of a suspect.

“These are different times. Really, the most dangerous time I can think of,” Sgt. Michael Mangina of the Irondale Police Department said.

Tuesday, the Alabama Sheriff’s Association came out in support of a bill which was introduced last week to push the AROWS plan.

“When you stop a car out on the street, you really don’t know what you are walking into. You don’t know what state of mind that driver is in,” Mangina said.

The AROWS system would help officers recognize the conceal gun permits are fraudulent or not. The system would also give them much needed criminal history of the suspect.

“In society now with the number of guns out there and available to them, our officers have to be tactically sound,” Smith said.

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