City employees further their education

City of Clanton employees are committed to furthering their education.

Three city police and court employees recently received degrees, adding to the group’s already impressive collection of academic honors.

Robert Bland earned a master’s of justice administration degree from Faulkner University, Katrina Caver earned a master’s of business administration degree from Argosy University and David Kline earned a bachelor of science degree in history with a minor in kinesiology from the University of Montevallo.

Continuing education: Clanton Police Department detectives David Kline (left) and Robert Bland (right) and Katrina Caver with Clanton Municipal Court all recently earned degrees. (Photo by Stephen Dawkins)

Continuing education: Clanton Police Department detectives David Kline (left) and Robert Bland (right) and Katrina Caver with Clanton Municipal Court all recently earned degrees. (Photo by Stephen Dawkins)

Bland and Kline are Clanton Police Department detectives, while Caver is works with the Clanton Municipal Court.

Bland said his undergraduate degree was in criminal justice from Faulkner, and he has three associate’s degrees in arts, science and criminal justice.

Bland finished the master’s program with a 3.9 GPA.

Bland has been with CPD for 11 years and in law enforcement for 16 years.

Prior to his time in Clanton, Bland worked as a detective for Jemison Police Department and as a deputy sheriff.

Bland, 37, who has lived in Clanton since he was 4, said his education has helped him become a better police officer and more.

“One of the biggest things was to show my children the importance of an education and why they should further their education,” he said.

Caver, 27, originally from Maplesville, completed her MBA requirements online in one year, she said.

She had previously earned her undergraduate degree in business administration from Faulkner.

Caver helps with warrants, processes court dockets, take payments, answer the police department main telephone line and is a notary, among other responsibilities.

Caver said she started as a data entry clerk in 2007 and became a secretary before accepting the court position.

“They needed help in the court, so they recruited me,” she said.

Kline already had two three-year degrees from Wallace Community College Selma in arts and science and criminal justice.

He is also in the master’s program at UM for secondary education with a concentration in social sciences.

Kline has been at CPD since 2009 and in law enforcement for 15 years.

Kline, 39, a Jemison native, said his education has helped with his job but has also allowed him to learn skills that will be beneficial outside of law enforcement—once he retires or is perhaps forced to work in a different career field.

“You have a Plan B in case you get hurt or something,” Kline said. “You just never know in this job.”

The employees said they appreciated the city’s willingness to allow them to pursue the degrees even if it sometimes meant altered schedules.

“A lot of jobs don’t do that,” Kline said.

Bland said CPD formed partnerships with colleges for discounted rates for the courses.

Of course, the employees also made plenty of their own sacrifices.

Through the lunch breaks spent studying and late nights writing research papers, Bland, Caver and Kline relied on their families and each other for support.

“We all helped each other in that aspect,” Bland said.

The three agreed that furthering their education was important to them, and they hope it is to others also.

“If you want to get your education, you can,” Kline said. “You just have to sacrifice, but you can get through it.”

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