Marengo Sheriff's Office

Greetings, I am Richard E. Ben Bates, a former Chief Deputy and now the Sheriff of Marengo County.

For eleven years, I have worked with the Marengo County Sheriff's Department as a deputy/chief deputy. As chief deputy, my duties included supervision and day-to-day operations of personnel and inmates. I set up the Drug Abuse Resistant Education (D.A.R.E) Program in our four county schools to teach our children the danger in using drugs and to resist any offer made to them by others. I initiated the Junior Deputy Program for High School students to teach them the fundamentals of law enforcement. I re-established the Auxiliary Deputy Program so Fire and Rescue squad personnel could assist the deputies on night patrol. While serving as chief deputy, I supported the Fire and Rescue squads in Marengo County.

Marengo County, like many other counties, has its share of problems and illegal activities such as: underage drinking, bad checks, burglary/robbery, rape, murder, and the use of controlled substances.

  • Underage Drinking: I believe that we should allow parents, with advice from law enforcement, to set punishment for children who are involved in underage drinking. Authorized law officers will apprehend those who buy for and sale alcohol to minors.

  • Bad Checks: Every small business in Marengo County may not be able to meet the expense of having a check cashing machine. As an alternative to the old system of recouping lost revenue, my plan will utilize deputies to help regain lost earnings. Using the system I have created will expedite the process of recovering worthless checks.

  • Burglary, Robbery, Rape and Murder: By maintaining high visibility of the sheriff's department in our communities, we can help prevent crimes. Deputies will be detectable throughout the county in both the northern and southern areas of the county. I believe all crimes can be solved by answering these simple questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why?

  • The Manufacture, Sale and Use of Controlled Substances: Citizens of Marengo County have already informed me of known hot spots in the county regarding drug activities. Informant hotlines will be generated to work with law officers. I will do everything within my power, and will obtain help from other state agencies, to assist me in this matter.

  • Neighborhood Watch: The sheriff's department will be instrumental in educating communities that are interested in starting a neighborhood watch program. By looking out for our neighbors on our left and our right, we can make our neighborhoods safe.

  • I would also like to put into action a Firearms Familiarization course to teach citizens how to correctly use a handgun. I pray that the opportunity never arrives for you to use it against another person; however, if you must, you will know how. I also welcome your ideas on helping to make your community a safer place to live.

    As Sheriff, I, Richard E. Ben Bates, do pledge to have a close working relationship with the various communities to combat all criminal activities that plague our county. Protecting people and their property from other people is my goal. I have given to our country and county combined thirty-one years of experienced, professional, dedicated, courteous and fair treatment to all.

  • Born and raised in Nanafalia, AL.
  • Attended Coxheath Jr. High School and Marengo High School, Dixons Mills, AL.
  • Further studies include Hopson State, Selma University, University of Alabama, Faulkner University and Reid State.
  • Joined the 1165th military police company in Linden AL at the age of 17.
  • Basic and advanced individual training (administrative specialist) in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
  • Cross trained as an M.P (Military Police) and also taught classes to other military police officers; anti-terrorism training was useful in combat Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
  • Served in Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East. I retired after 20 years of military service to our country.
  • Member of the beautiful Star AME Zion Church, serving as the preacher.

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