Birmingham Officer Hoax

Aug 2, 2019

An Alabama police chief says an officer staged a shooting last month to make it look like he was under attack.

Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said their investigation concluded "this entire event was a hoax."

Smith says Officer Keith Buchanan made a distress call early July 21 while patrolling an isolated area. Shots could be heard in the background, and an abandoned police car was found with a bullet hole. He was later found moaning on the ground.

The police chief says investigators determined the event was staged. Smith says they are seeking charges against Buchanan, who has been relieved of his duties.

Hiring

The Alabama Department of Corrections is hiring a new category of corrections officer as the state tries to address a prison staffing shortage.

Sixty-one basic correctional officers graduated Friday from the Alabama Corrections Academy in Selma.

The prison system created the new position of basic officer this year to speed the hiring of security staff. The program has easier entry requirements, and graduates can do some, but not all of the tasks, handled by correctional officers.

The prison system said that after completing the six-week academy, basic correctional officers are certified to supervise inmates and conduct searches. They can also assist with educational, vocational opportunities and rehabilitative services.

The state faces a court order to add officers. The state has also raised salaries in an effort to increase staff.