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Jackson’s Gap replaces Fire Chief Sims

Published 1:41pm Monday, December 19, 2011

Jackson’s Gap has selected a new fire chief, according to Police Chief and Head of Public Safety B.C. Cooper, who said former Fire Chief Mannon Sims has been fired.

Joseph Lee Stroud has been named for the job and will serve temporarily, Cooper said, while he searches for other candidates for the job.

“I had to put somebody in charge because it is a critical position,” Cooper said. “I’m just trying to keep the fire department running.”

Cooper said that he assigned Stroud chief temporarily because he was already working with for the fire department. Cooper also added that Stroud is a registered sex offender, but he confirmed with Sheriff Jimmy Abbett that appointing Stroud to the post was not in violation of any laws.

Abbett said that Stroud has been compliant with registration requirements and that Alabama laws governing sex offenders do not place restrictions on what types of jobs they can hold, given the location of their place of employment isn’t near any prohibited buildings.

“There are laws that say they can’t live or work within 2,000 feet of a daycare center or schools,” Abbett said.

According to the Alabama Public Safety Information Center, Stroud was convicted of rape, second degree, in Aug. 1995. Stroud was released April 1997.

Stroud says he has been working for the Jackson’s Gap Fire Department for five or so years and doesn’t believe his sex offender status will have any affect on his ability to perform the job.

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