Terms of Use for Social Media

Thank you for your interest in the Hartselle Police Department’s social media platforms. The purpose of our social media is to permit authorized employees of the Hartselle Police Department to provide the public with information concerning public safety, news, events, activities, stories, photographs, and videos, and to disseminate other information and material intended to increase public awareness of the Department’s activities.

IMPORTANT: Our social media is NOT MONITORED 24 hours a day, so you SHOULD NOT use any of our platforms to report any crime. IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL 911. For all non-emergency assistance, please call central dispatch at 256-350-4613. Tips are always appreciated, however keep the aforementioned statement in mind when submitting tips through messages.

Social media is not the platform to make a complaint on an employee of the department. The few individuals managing social media cannot act as mediators for complaints. You should contact the department directly by phone (256-773-8264) or in person (150 NW Chestnut Street) to make this complaint.  If you wish to acknowledge an officers good work or submit praise by messaging the page, these messages will be forwarded to the officer(s) supervisor(s) as these messages do not require follow-up by monitors of social media. 

The Hartselle Police Department is committing to staying within the scope of the City of Hartselle’s Personnel Handbook Social Medial Policy, which requires a link to the City’s official website Hartselle, AL | Official Website, assurance that opinions expressed by visitors to the page(s) do not reflect the opinions of the City and/or the Hartselle Police Department, a statement that any content posted or submitted for posting is subject to public disclosure, and the fact that the Hartselle Police Department’s social media comments are set to the most restrictive setting allowed by each platform.

Most questions asked of the Hartselle Police Department relates to the posting of felony arrests.

The media scours public records and jail rosters to locate felony arrests. The Hartselle Police Department lists these arrest as a direct outlet to the media and the public alike. The department typically respects the law more than is required by Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3.6 which allows for the release of

  • the identity, residence, occupation and family status of the accused; 
  • if the accused has not been apprehended, information necessary to aid in apprehension of that person; 
  • the fact, time and place of arrest; and
  • the identity of investigating and arresting officers or agencies and the length of the investigation.
  • The Hartselle Police Department will also include a statement of the accused person(s) presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
  • Please add that we will comply with the rules regarding the release of identifying information for 16 and 17 year old offenders prior to a conviction. I am unsure of Act number but is known as the confidentiality act and was passed in 2021.

Although the Public Information Officer (PIO) attempts to publish all felony arrests, there is no guarantee all arrests will be relayed to the PIO for publishing. No Representative of the Hartselle Police Department will elaborate further than the basic facts presented about an arrestee. The Hartselle Police Department strives to be in compliance with the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct Rules 3.6 and 3.8 Trial Publicity. Any media requests beyond what is listed in a post should be directed to the Morgan County District Attorney’s Office. 

The PIO may offer general information to the media to clarify a posting, such as explaining or clarifying a criminal charge, bail bond, or clarifying any confusion about a post. The PIO may also be contacted for general statements to assist with keeping the public safe.  It should also be noted that “Law enforcement investigative reports and related investigative material” are exempt from the open records law. Ala. Code § 12-21-3.1(b). 

Another common question concerns bond amounts for arrestees. Bond schedules are set by the courts and aggravating factors may elevate bonds. Aggravating factors are those that pose a risk to the public or flight risk of the accused. Bonds are not set to punish the arrestee pretrial.

The Hartselle Police Department welcomes the media and works diligently with the media to relay current and accurate information. Currently the PIO is Lt. Alan W. McDearmond and can be reached at amcdearmond@hartselle.org or 256-751-4917.