Asheville Police Department: Business owner example of community policing effort

The Asheville Police Department presented business owner Russell Wood with a certificate of appreciation Wednesday, Sept. 1 in thanks for information he provided that resulted in Tuesday’s successful apprehending of Kenneth E. Allison.

Wood, owner of Remax Advantage Realty, alerted police on Aug. 30 that Allison had visited his office the day before and had been acting strangely, including staying in the building’s parking lot until well after closing time and searching through his trunk for money that he said he’d lost. Internet research on Wood’s part revealed the Allison had been involved in a stand-off with police in South Carolina, during which he displayed a gun and after which more weapons were found in his home.

City Manager Gary Jackson praised Wood’s attention and participation in community policing. “This is the kind of information it will take for us to meet the city’s strategic goal of making Asheville one of the safest cities of its size,” Jackson said. “We all must play a part in achieving that goal.”

Allison was apprehended after a two-hour stand off with police in downtown’s Battery Park area. Officers responding to the scene included the department’s Crisis Negotiation Team, a group of officers trained in communicating with suspects in such cases. Officers on the Crisis Negotiation Team are trained to resolve crisis situations in nonviolent ways and receive advance training at the Institute for Police Technology in Jacksonville, Fla.

“Situations like this remind us how important it is for our relationship with the community to be solid,” APD Captain Daryl Fisher said. “Without the assistance of people who live and work here, we would not have as much information as we do.”

The City of Asheville encourages all of its residents, visitors and business owners to make themselves part of the community policing effort. Multiple resources are available to anyone who wishes to report suspicious or threatening activity.

Click here to learn more about APD’s crime prevention unit.