Chief goes back to school for crime class

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wesson Police Chief Steve Carlisle got a chance to work withFederal Bureau of Investigation instructors and other lawenforcement officials from around the South last week at the thirdannual FBI Regional Command College at the University ofMississippi campus.

The Command College was put on by the Mississippi Association ofChiefs of Police (MACP) and the FBI and was hosted by theUniversity’s Division of Outreach and Continuing Education.

Carlisle said one of the perks of the event was the connectionshe made with other law enforcement officials from Mississippi,Louisiana, Tennessee, Florida and Alabama.

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“I didn’t know any of them, so it was all new people,” he said.”I made a lot of friends from a lot of other departments, whichhelps because you can always call on those friends when you needhelp or information.”

MACP Executive Director Ken Winter said connections are one keyfocus of the convention.

“It gives small town chiefs and departments that only includefive or six men the opportunity to receive a level of training theymight not otherwise get,” Winter said in a release earlier thisweek. “You had small departments and large departments along withstate police, representatives from the Bureau of Narcotics, andseveral sheriffs here. Throughout the week we also gave them anopportunity to have an interchange of ideas and open up the linesof communication.”

Carlisle said a large emphasis was placed on computer crime as anew wave of breaking the law.

“I definitely learned a lot, because crime has changed so muchover the last few years. So much is based on computers and computernetworks and such.” he said. “It was in depth on computer crimesand computer searches, and we learned how to search for differentdata and to analyze hard drives and stuff like that.”

But the computer crimes weren’t the only focus by any means,Carlisle said. He also took classes such as “Leading OrganizationalChange,” “Generational Issues,” “Hostage Negotiation andManagement” and “Legal Issues,” to name a few.

“The classes were all really good,” he said. “There wasintelligence and investigation, and several different classes onthings like officer evaluations and hostage negotiations.”

FBI Special Agent Steven Godfrey said the Command College, whichoffers training emphasis in three basic areas: leadership, ethics,and legal instruction, is similar to the Law Enforcement ExecutiveDevelopment Seminars hosted in Quantico, Va., that host about 30officers a year. The aim, he said, is to provide the same type oftraining to officials who possibly couldn’t get away from theirdepartments for so long or whose departments couldn’t handle thetravel fees to Quantico.

“Several years ago the FBI realized we weren’t reaching mediumand small departments who couldn’t afford to send their chiefs,sheriffs or executives to Virginia,” he said.

Carlisle said whether your department has 15 officers like hisor many more, the learning is just as valuable.

“Some of the departments had 400-500 men in their departments,”said Carlisle. “Whether it’s a small department or a bigdepartment, there’s not much difference in the crimes. This issomething all law enforcement supervisors should be going to.”