Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bill would set requirements to run for county sheriff

By Marty Roney
Montgomery Advertiser

The state of Alabama has higher qualifications for deputies than for sheriffs.

The sheriffs aren't happy about that.

A state group representing sheriffs wants lawmakers to toughen minimum requirements for the job, but the bill may not come up for a vote in this legislative session.

Legislators have jokingly dubbed the proposal "The Barney Fife Bill," after the bumbling deputy on "The Andy Griffith Show." But the ramifications are serious, said Bobby Timmons, executive director of the Alabama Sheriff's Association.

"The sheriff can pull you over at any time and end your freedom," Timmons said. "We aren't living in antiquated days anymore; you need to have a person with a law enforcement background as sheriff."

Currently, to run for sheriff, a person must only be 18 years or older and a resident of the county -- and residency can be established in a single day. The sheriff holds the highest elected office in the county.

But deputies must have a high school diploma or the equivalent, must complete training at an accredited police academy within six months of their hiring, and must fulfill 12 hours a year of continuing education.

The bill came out of committee last week. But Timmons wonders if it will clear hurdles in the six days left on the legislative calendar.

Gee...what a novel have the sheriff have some sort of education...I think Alabama is one of the only remaining states where law enforcement officers are not requied to have a college degree. I think EVERY SINGLE COP should have at least a four-year degree before they can be a cop.


HairFarmer said...

You're not alone dear. South Carolina doesn't require a degree either just a H.Ss Diploma and graduation from the state police acadamy. My brother was a police officer in SC (not for long) and while I love the guy, he ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer, you know what I'm sayin'?

Anonymous said...

And because we don't require our cops to have four-year degrees, we have college dropouts who decide to become a cop and go on a power trip. I know a couple of cops that are a couple of brain cells short of a having 3 that function.

Don said...

Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin graduated from Wetumpka High School (along with my older daughter who was his high school “steady” and from Auburn “WAR DAMN EAGLE” University where I believe he took law enforcement courses. Maybe that background is what made him into a very popular sheriff with the citizens here.