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Sheriff, employees attend conference

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP – Managing Editor
Sheriff Grover Smith attended his first training session as the head law enforcement officer in Escambia County recently by attending the Sheriff's Training Course.
Held at the University of Alabama School of Law, the Sheriff's Training Conference is sponsored by the Alabama Sheriff's Association and the Alabama Law Institute. The five-day program provided an orientation to the office for newly-elected sheriffs and included advanced training for sheriffs returning to office.
Smith said the conference offered information that all sheriff's can appreciate.
Joining the sheriff at the conference was ECSO Major Mike Murphy and administrative assistant Shirley Pettis.
The program consisted of eight sessions with the first concentrating on the working relationships in the sheriff's office. The second session concerned criminal law and procedure which included information concerning arrest, search and seizure and vehicular stops. Circuit Judge James Garrett and Professor Joe Colquitt, noted criminal law experts, taught during this session.
The third session focused on crime scenes and evidence. Topics covered in that session included: toxicology, DNA evidence and preservation of a crime scene. The fourth session concerned incarceration of prisoners and included presentations from Brice Paul, director of jail services for the Sheriff's Association. That session included topics concerning the detention and care of juveniles and incompetence, community notification and registration of offenders and work release.
The fifth session concerned the record keeping duties of the sheriff's office. Among the topics covered were the election responsibilities of the sheriff's office, budget planning and source of funds and interaction with national and state crime information centers.
Session six involved commitments and civil court processes and the seventh concerned federal and state resources. Representatives from the FBI, U.S. Attorney's Office, U.S. Marshall's Office, Drug Enforcement Administration participated in the panel discussion.
There was also a discussion regarding Homeland Security by Alabama's new director of Homeland Securities Jim Walker. Also, Attorney General Bill Pryor addressed the sheriffs and outlines his priorities during the next four years.
The final session concerned liability and public relations to the sheriff's department.
This training session is held every four years, following the election of new state sheriffs.