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Ala. deputy who was beaten, injured by suspect fears for colleagues’ safety amid staff shortages

“If things don’t change, it’s going to be bad for Jefferson County,” Deputy Clint Bowden said

By Joanna Putman

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. — A deputy who was beaten by a suspect in September says he fears more attacks will come if understaffing persists, WIAT reported.

Deputy Clint Bowden confronted a suspect after the department had received reports that someone had been throwing rocks at passing cars, according to the report. During the confrontation, the suspect tried to wrestle Bowden’s gun away from him and hit him repeatedly in the head, according to the report.

When backup arrived, two deputies arrested the suspect, now identified as Vincent Kimbrough. Bowden was taken to the hospital.

“I was bleeding,” Bowden said. “I couldn’t see. I thought I was going to die.”

Bowden is currently being treated for a traumatic brain injury, PTSD, weakness on his left side, headaches and trouble sleeping, according to the report.

Bowden told WIAT that he feared for other deputies’ safety as staffing numbers drop.

“There should have been 12 to 17 [deputies] in the center point substation on that shift,” Clay City Manager Ronnie Dixon said. “In the substation that morning, there were three deputies … That was the morning of the attack.”

According to the Jefferson County Commission, in October 2019, there were 926 deputies and sworn officers at the JCSO. In October of 2023, that number dropped to 856.

“If things don’t change, it’s going to be bad for Jefferson County,” Bowden told WIAT.

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