A chance to set the record straight

Published 11:10 pm Saturday, April 16, 2016

By Stan Stabler
Stbaler is the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Secretary of Law Enforcement.

In 2016, State Troopers have investigated 8,947 traffic crashes with 3,742 injuries. One hundred fifty-nine people have lost their lives in Trooper-investigated traffic crashes this year — and 74 of those 159 people were not using their seat belts. 

Our Internet Crimes Against Children Unit has worked 22 cases, executed 16 search warrants and arrested 8 child predators.

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The SBI Narcotics Unit has investigated 77 cases and seized 73,294 grams of illegal drugs with a street value of $1,536,112.

SBI Major Crimes has completed 190 assist reports, arrested 19 suspects, and opened 38 cases.

Our Fusion Center has issued four alerts for missing children and seven alerts for missing seniors, while assisting state and local law enforcement agencies with 496 requests for information.

Yet the headlines, articles and blogs are littered with erroneous allegations and absolute lies from disgruntled former agency head Spencer Collier.  As a seasoned law enforcement officer with 30 years’ experience, I find it disheartening that Collier, a former public servant, chooses to fabricate the facts and belittle those who put their lives on the line every day to serve others.

It has been said many times over the past year, the core function of state government is public safety. As Secretary, I assure you, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is committed to providing public safety to the citizens of Alabama.  Since mid-February, morale has greatly improved at our agency — State Troopers, Agents and civilian employees work hard every day to ensure our mission is fulfilled.  I have had an opportunity to personally meet the majority of our staff — employees who have integrity and are dedicated to the agency’s mission and are not letting the constant allegations from the former leader distract them.

These sensationalized lies from Collier — and other unnamed sources — all occurred during the timeframe of his tenure as Secretary and under his direct supervision.  I encourage members of the media and political bloggers to fact-check future allegations regarding ALEA, its employees or me.  Although we cannot comment on ongoing investigations or operational details of dignitary protection missions, we will be more than happy to provide factual information.

As for Collier’s accusations, I want to correct the following about me:

No ongoing investigations were closed. As is customary in a law enforcement agency, once investigators have exhausted the leads and completed their investigation, the file is turned over to the proper prosecutorial authority.

Transfer of two executive staff members were made prior to Collier’s departure.

Agents who were commuting to Montgomery were returned to their home base and no longer required to commute several days throughout the week.

Effective Feb. 29, two non-merit positions and two part-time retired state employee positions were eliminated and will remain vacant, representing a savings of more than $250,000 annually. They were:

  • An Assistant Homeland Security Director who served as an Executive Secretary/Assistant (As is common with change in management, I am using the administrative assistant I had in my previous role as Chief of Protective Services.)
  • An Assistant Homeland Security Director who was assigned to the Fusion Center as “Special Projects”
  • A part-time sworn retired state employee who functioned as a facilitator during the transition process
  • A part-time sworn retired state employee who served as one of Collier’s drivers
  • Although I worked on the governor’s detail in August 2014, I did not serve as detail leader until November 2014.

I was appointed Chief of Protective Services in June 2015. Prior to that appointment, I did not communicate directly with Collier. ALEA is a para-military organization, and I reported and communicated through my chain of command.

My priority as ALEA’s Secretary remains the same — to carry out the mission of the agency and ensure our law enforcement officers and support staff honorably provide service, protection and safety for all of our citizens.