A southwest Iowa lawman is home from an intensive training program for which only 40 law officers nationwide were chosen. Clarinda Police Chief Keith Brothers completed the weeklong course that covered areas ranging from responding to school shootings to ethics in law enforcement to civil liability as it relates to the use of force. Chief Brothers says they also covered how to prepare and manage a budget.

Brothers says, “That’s becoming more important each day as we’re trying to be as cost-effective as possible and make the citizens’ tax dollars stretch as far as we possibly can and still accomplish our mission.” Brothers was nominated by the Iowa Police Chiefs Association to attend the Rural Executive Management Institute Program at the University of Arkansas’ National Center for Rural Law Enforcement.

Other coursework included relationships with the media, communicating with the public and police department personnel, along with crisis response in the schools.

“That was a discussion and training of how to manage and work through an active shooter situation in a school setting,” Brothers says. The session featured people who’ve been through that type of situation who were able to share lessons they learned. Brothers says he was pleased to have been nominated to attend the comprehensive course last week, which was funded by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance.

While there’s a lot of concern in the current economic climate about how federal dollars are being spent, Brothers says the training he went through last week was “worth every dollar that’s been allocated to it.” He says the training was exceptional and that he probably wouldn’t have had a similar opportunity with the funding.

By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic