THOMASVILLE, Ala. (WKRG) – Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day tells News 5 he has requested Gov. Kay Ivey to help secure the LifeTech Transition Center in his city. Mayor Day says the program, which is run by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole, is a facility where parolees are sent after their parole. In recent years, according to officials, the facility has had several residents walk off of the property.
“We’ve has multiple incidents over the last two years,” says Mayor Day.
Mayor Day says there have been several home invasions in neighborhoods near the facility. Police Chief Mitchell Stuckey confirms to News 5 that a resident entered someone’s home during the night.
“There are a few bad apples who walk off into homes,” Mayor Day says.
In April, Day says officials in Montgomery agreed to better security measures at the facility. Currently, there are no GPS tracking devices on residents and there is no gate at the facility.
On Thursday, Mark Anthony Creel walked off the property and police are currently searching for him in the area. We’re told this particular resident is a non-violent offender. However, he still poses a threat to the community and city officials urge anyone who sees him to call police immediately.
While Day was promised by state officials that non-violent offenders would only be housed in this facility, we’re told a murder suspect was staying at the facility and walked off recently, too.
News 5 has reached out to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole, but as of this story being published, we have not heard back.
Mayor Day says a fence is already in the works, but that he was told Thursday the GPS tracking devices were on hold. He sent the following email to Governor Kay Ivey’s Office:
We have another Life Tech resident who has walked off. He is currently being tracked through residential areas of our city much like the one back in March or April. We were told months ago by Pardons and Parole Leadership that plans had be finalized and purchasing process had been approved to move forward with desperately needed security measures at Life Tech Thomasville…..
I just called Lyn Head, Eddie Cook, and Darrell Morgan. I asked for all possible assistance and asked them why security measures have not yet been started. Lyn actually broke down in tears as she told me how extremely frustrated she has been with the purchasing process for the GPS braclets. The fencing piece is already moving but the GPS piece apparently is still stuck purchasing where it has been for weeks.
After contacting your office and explaining the issue to your staff, they immediately patched me through to Finance who after hearing my distress and Lyn’s frustration are now trying to track down why this purchase has not move forward. This is an emergency situation. We must secure this facility to ensure our citizens are safe from any future issues at Life Tech.
I sincerely request that if GPS devices cannot be made immediately available that the facility be closed until all the security updates (including the fence) can be made and the citizens of Thomasville can be assured the program is operated in a fashion that will ensure safety for all. I will clear my calendar tomorrow and Monday if needed to come to Montgomery to meet with anyone and everyone in order to get this resolved as soon as possible.
Mayor Day is requesting the facility be closed until adequate measures can be taken to ensure the safety of his residents.
News 5 will continue reaching out to officials.