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Thorsby police chief completes executive-level training

By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

Thorsby police chief Rodney Barnett has completed his 240-hour executive-level training certification.

There are four levels based around the number of hours of training taken: 40, 80, 160 and 240.

“It’s a multi-year process to reach those four different levels,” Barnett said. “The 240-hour is the highest level that you can get.”

According to Barnett, the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police (AACOP) requires police chiefs in the state to receive 20 hours of executive-level training per year, with other officers needing just 12.

“Once a year, we go to Montgomery for training,” he said. “Then in the summer, we go to the beach. That’s where we do our two trainings a year currently. They get speakers from all around the country. The majority of them have law enforcement experience. Many are attorneys or paid professionals that represent police officers when lawsuits come up.

“It’s always in person. There is a test at the end of the session that you have to take and pass. All the chiefs of police from how many ever municipalities there are in Alabama get their training there. If you miss that, you have to pick up executive level hours somewhere else.”

As far as what is covered during these training sessions, Barnett said the topics “run the gamut.”

“It helps with communication skills, dealing with internal and external problems and the hiring process,” he said. “The executive hours mainly deal with the internal affairs of the department, dealing with the public and problem solving.”

Barnett began completing hours of certification back in 2009.

“I had the mindset that I wouldn’t rush it,” he said. “I would do my 20 hours a year. I picked up a couple of extra classes when I got close. I had that goal I wanted to reach, and I didn’t want to achieve it earlier because you need something to work for.”

Barnett said even though he has completed the highest level of certification, he will set a new benchmark for himself and continue working towards it.

“I appreciate the town council, the mayor and our mayors in the past for supporting me and funding my trips wherever I’ve had to go to achieve this accomplishment,” he said. “I say this with a humble heart, that I appreciate being given the opportunity to serve the town of Thorsby. I hope to continue in that capacity maybe up until I retire in eight or 10 more years if they’ll have me.”