Clay Morris city council

Police Chief Clay Morris approaching City Council in April to ask for updated equipment in vehicles. Photo by Jamie Browder

The recent shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead has only made Pell City Police Chief Clay Morris more determined for the department to be ready to handle threats to the school system.

“There’s nothing more precious than our children, speaking first as a father and then the police chief of Pell City,” said Morris. “We have to do everything in our power to make sure they have a safe and comfortable environment.”

Morris said he works hard to coordinate closely with school administration on security topics, concerns, means and methods.

“The safety and security of our students is the utmost priority for our city and our police department,” said Morris.

The school shooting at Robb Elementary School has made him pause and evaluate the safety of Pell City.

“Certainly, in light of recent events evolving across the country, we have to take a very hard look at our security protocols and practices, equipment and how we deploy our officers at our schools,” said Morris.

“Just because it happened in Uvalde and across the country doesn’t mean it can’t happen in our city.”

Morris said he feels confident that they are prepared to deal with and diffuse any active shooter situation. He said a big part of that safety is ensuring that there are school resource officers on campuses.

“The police department here is well trained, and we’re equipped and prepared to appropriately and swiftly handle any active shooter situation or quite frankly, any security concern in our schools,” said Morris.

Comments made on social media, messages or verbally about endangering the lives of students in Pell City is not something he takes lightly.

“Every one of those will be investigated, we have a duty to do that as law enforcement officers. We have duties to investigate and follow up on and ensure the safety of our children.”

Morris said if any parent would like to contact the police department with any questions or concerns, they may call 205-884-3334.

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