Public Safety

Police Protection

The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency that serves all citizens in Etowah County, Alabama.

The Sheriff is a constitutional officer of the State and is charged with many responsibilities that include the ability to execute and return the process and orders of the courts. Other constitutional duties of the Office of Sheriff can be found in the Code of Alabama 1975, Section 36-22-3. Sheriff Todd Entrekin was appointed to the Office in 2007, after the death of Sheriff James Hayes, and was elected by the people in 2010 and 2014.

While a primary responsibility of Etowah Sheriff’s deputies is to carry out the orders of the courts, they also perform other functions such as traffic enforcement, criminal investigations, and detention and transport of inmates/detainees.

Specialized law enforcement units within the Etowah County Sheriff’s office include: aviation unit, K-9 unit, water patrol and dive team, motorcycle unit, bicycle unit and the Joint Special Operations Group.

The Sheriff’s Office has formed beneficial partnerships with several federal law enforcement agencies throughout the past seven years.  Deputies are assigned to: the FBI’s Safe Street Task Force, FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office employs more than 170 individuals in administrative, enforcement, detention, investigative and narcotics units.  Currently, there are seven leaders on the command staff, 53 enforcement deputies, 86 detention deputies, ten criminal investigators, five dispatchers and eight administrative clerks.  Of all employed at the Office, 75 are certified deputies.

The Sheriff’s Office is also served by more than 65 volunteers in the Reserve Unit, Mounted Unit and Crisis Chaplaincy Team.

The Etowah County Detention Center holds an average daily population of approximately 800 inmates/detainees.  The detention center is accredited by the American Correctional Association and the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare.

Fire Protection

Gadsden, Attalla and Rainbow City have full-time fire departments. Gadsden has a Class 2 fire insurance rating; Rainbow City and Attalla have a Class 5 rating. There are 24 volunteer fire departments throughout Etowah County.

The Gadsden Fire Department has 8 stations/engine companies, including 2 ladder/aerial trucks, 2 rescue units (1 equipped to a medium Rescue), a brush UTV, a unit for hazmat/special operations/high-angle rescue, and a decontamination unit. The department’s 122 career firefighters include 42 Paramedics, 3 Intermediate EMTs, 6 Advance EMTs, 55 Basic EMTs and 16 First Responders. The average response time for engine companies is 4.54 minutes and the average response time for rescue units is 4.51 minutes.

Other Emergency Services

The Gadsden-Etowah Emergency Management Agency has the responsibility of planning for all types of emergencies. The EMA has provided hundreds of tone-alert radios to child-care centers, schools, churches, nursing homes and emergency responders. Severe weather warning sirens have been installed throughout the county.

Emergency Medical Services are available that include Ambulances that are Basic Life Support, Advanced Life Support and LifeSaver helicopter ambulance, responds throughout the county.  Since Gadsden sits on and along the Coosa River a Fleet of RescueOne Boats and service boats are available for emergency response and recovery needs also.