Red Bay officers to attend training class
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
RED BAY- The Red Bay City Council narrowly approved training for the city's police force, after voicing concern about diluting the police force while the officers are away.
Council members Bobby Nelson and Ann Wilkins voted against allowing the police department to attend the free training.
"I have people complaining that the police are out of town a lot," Wilkins said during the discussion.
Council member Pat Hammock added that she is not against the officers going to school as long as it doesn't cost the city anything.
Mayor Jeff Reid said that police department has $9,000 budgeted for travel and training for the current fiscal year, and only $6,563.14 has been used as of June 30, 2007. Reid openly encourages the officers to get as much training as possible to keep them safe and to help them do their jobs more effectively.
"We have a small department and our officers have to be more versatile," Reid said.
He added that a small situation can quickly turn into a big ordeal, and that while the city's officers do a sufficient amount of training, some of Red Bay's officers are not as well trained as other officers in different police departments.
Sgt. Scottie Belue addressed the council Monday night, seeking approval for the class, which would be held at no cost to the city. The council previously approved a training class for the department in June, but by the time the department got the okay from the city the class had already been filled.
"These good training classes fill up fast, and we have to sign up while there is room," Belue told the council.
The police department is not alone in the debate on training. The council approved required training for City Clerk Linda Holcomb and Revenue Officer Tracie Bolding in Tuscaloosa. The training will emphasize election policy and procedure.
Reid said that the city is operating under a new business license, which requires this training.