As the Scottsboro Police Department battled crime throughout 2020, it also battled COVID-19.

“Our total activity was down considerably in 2020,” said Interim Police Chief Ron Latimer. “A good majority of the COVID impact on our police operations, personnel and court system.”

Latimer said several police officers, jailers and dispatchers were affected by COVID throughout the year.

“At times, it left us short-handed,” said Latimer. “But we made adjustments. We limited personal interaction with the public as best we could.”

Latimer said there have been no COVID outbreaks in the city jail.

“We’ve took measures in constantly cleaning and sanitizing the jail,” he said.

In 2020, Scottsboro police made 1,533 arrests, took in 17,073 service calls and filed 2,598 incident reports.

Arrests included one manslaughter case, five aggravated assault cases, nine burglary and 40 felony theft.

Latimer said there were four sex crime arrests, 89 DUI’s and 248 drug-related arrests.

Officers worked 681 accidents, including four traffic fatalities.

The year also saw the retirement of Police Chief Ralph Dawe, who had served since 2006. Latimer, who served as Dawe’s major, became interim police chief in June 2020. He has remained interim chief since.

Interim or not, the work goes on.

“I think we’ve got past the worst [of COVID],” said Latimer. “I see a brighter future and return to normalcy this year.”

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