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."