Unsung heroes training mixes fun, competition

Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some here may not know about the 25 men and women who make up the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department’s Reserve Unit.

However, these unsung heroes save the department and Chilton County taxpayers about $143,000 each year.

This year, the sheriff’s department mixed a training opportunity for the reserves with some good, old-fashioned fun and competition.

The inaugural Fire Arms Competition was held Saturday, Oct. 10. Patrol Capt. Rocky Mims, director of the reserve unit, said the event was a way to give back and say thank you to the volunteers, who give so much to the department and county residents.

“The reserves are kind of unseen in the community. They volunteer their time and services and do many things to help out. They save us a lot of money,” he said.

Reserves volunteer about 800 hours a month to the sheriff’s department. They work a variety of assignments, including providing extra security, parking cars, helping at church events, motorcycle fundraisers, helping with transports and serving as backup patrol support.

Mims said the Oct. 10 event allowed reserves to obtain quality, certified-instructor training the first half of the day in areas officers can expect to encounter during day-to-day applications of law enforcement.

The second half of the day, reserves had the opportunity to compete in three different firearm competitions, he said.

The courses included long-distance shooting, physical agility and high-stress situations, similar to that found in today’s special weapons and tactical training.

“This is a great opportunity to advance the training, motivation and team integrity of our reserve unit, and a way of giving back to the volunteers of this vital division that display such a high level of dedication,” said Chilton County Sheriff Kevin Davis.

Three reservists earned awards at the competition. First place and “Top Gun” award went to Tim Popwell. The Top Gun competition tested long-distance shooting with a rifle mixed in with an agility course and handgun shooting, Mims said.

Second place and “Eagle Eye” honors went to Kevin Smitherman. The Eagle Eye competition consisted of shooting a handgun at a range of 100 yards.

“Instructor’s Choice” was awarded to Travis Wimbush.

“It was a great day,” Mims said. “The first one went real good. Next year, we’ll have a little more time to plan it, and it will be event better.”