Local residents arrested for a good cause

Published 4:58 pm Friday, February 8, 2013

Porter's Texaco and Services Center owner Lynn Howard participated in "Cuffed for Books," a fundraiser to raise money for more textbooks for the Chilton County school system.

Porter’s Texaco and Services Center owner Lynn Howard was changing a tire when two Jemison police officers came to arrest him early Friday morning.

Howard did not commit a crime. He wasn’t in trouble and this was no ordinary arrest.

JPD officer reserve Byron Oliver placed handcuffs on Howard and told him he was being arrested—for a good cause.

Howard was one of several residents throughout Chilton County being “arrested” for “Cuffed for Books,” a fundraiser to raise money for more textbooks for the Chilton County school system as well as more books for the Jemison Public Library.

“This is all in good fun,” Howard said. “I had an idea I was going to be arrested today but didn’t necessarily know what time.”

Howard was taken to the Jemison Municipal Complex where a makeshift “jail” was setup inside the courtroom. Anyone “arrested” on Friday had to be bailed out with money to release them from the “jail” and the money would be donated for more textbooks.

Jemison city employee Richard Childs constructed wooden jail bars he installed inside the courtroom to replicate a jail. Once inside, those arrested could sit and eat lunch while waiting to be bailed out.

Librarian Tammie McGriff said the fundraiser had been successful for the morning portion with more than $700 raised and was optimistic the rest of the day would go well.

“This has been a lot of fun,” McGriff said. “Those that didn’t know they were being arrested have been great sports and shown support for this community through their donations.”

JPD Sgt. Jeff Manasco said the day had been enjoyable for the police officers due to the fundraiser “breaking the monotony.”

“There are so many days we as police officers have to arrest someone that is in a bad circumstance,” Manasco said. “It isn’t always easy and enjoyable but today has sort of let us take a break and help out a good cause. This community means a lot to us and we are happy to help out in whatever way we can.”

Bingo for Books and a silent auction was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Friday with barbecue, chips and a drink being sold for $5 along with prizes for the winners who played bingo.

Items were donated from local businesses and individuals who donated for the silent auction. All the proceeds from both events will go to purchase more textbooks.