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AL - Chief hit with hunting charges

Chief hit with hunting charges
Steve Reed cited for improper firearm, lack of orange attire
Friday, February 08, 2008
By ROBERT McCLENDON Staff Reporter

State game wardens recently charged Mount Vernon Police Chief Steve Reed with a pair of violations while he was hunting for deer near the city in which he is expected to uphold the law.

Reed was arrested in the early morning hours of Jan. 20 and charged with hunting using illegal arms or ammunition and hunting without the proper orange attire, said Lt. Todd Draper of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Draper said Reed was charged with using an illegal arm because he was hunting with a .17-caliber rimfire rifle.

Reed could not be reached for comment. Nor could his superior, Mount Vernon Mayor Cleon Bolden.

Hunting regulations outlaw using rimfire rifles because rimfire rounds are not considered powerful enough to consistently kill a deer, said Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division District Supervisor Kenneth Blalock. A deer shot with such a rifle anywhere but in a vital organ is unlikely to die very quickly, so such weapons are considered inhumane for deer hunting, he said.

Reed was not taken to jail, but he was cited on the spot and made to sign a pair of $500 appearance bonds, one for each charge. If he fails to appear for his arraignment, scheduled for Feb. 26, he will have to pay the bonds.

Draper declined to release other details about the circumstances of Reed's arrest.

Jimmie Herring of Mount Vernon notified the Press-Register shortly after Reed's arrest, but the charges did not appear in online court records until Thursday.

"Every deer hunter in the state of Alabama has to follow the rules," Herring said. "Are we going to have a chief law enforcement officer who doesn't follow the rules?

"Hunting with an improper weapon is not appropriate conduct for a law enforcement officer."

  

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