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Monday, November 9, 2015

Is He or Isn't He? Larry Berzett's APOST Certification or Equivalent to APOSTC

A Request for Information was submitted to the Alabama State Attorney General in regards to Mr. Larry Berzett’s APOST Certification.  The request concerned Larry Berzett wearing a belt buckle which reflected his name and the word “Deputy” on the buckle.  It appeared that Mr. Berzett was impersonating an officer.

The response is appended to this comment. The response does not adequately answer my inquiry and does not belong in the hands of the State Attorney General’s office yet.  I have requested information from the State Attorney General’s office in the past. Please read the attached al.gov rules for the Alabama Access Laws. 


The below response in BLUE is from Mr. Louis Zook, the Alabama State Attorney General's Coordinator to the Alabama Open Record Act.  What is Mr. Zook saying?

Ms. Robinson:

This is in response to your January 17th  email requesting information.

APOST is charged with the training and certification of law enforcement officers. Law Enforcement officers by definition are persons who, in their official capacities, (36-21-40, et seq.) have the power of arrest. The exception to this is the elected Sheriff of each County and Constables. We do not regulate non-sworn persons such as jailers, dispatchers or school crossing guards, etc.

If a person working in the jail is vested with the power of arrest, then that person has been appointed a law enforcement officer subject to APOST regulations. I trust this answers your second question.

For an answer to your fist question, I refer you to the office of the Attorney General since APOSTC regulate only law enforcement officers.

Thank you for your inquiry.

Signed 
XXXXXX Zook

Dated:  

To Whom It May Concern:

Under the Alabama Open Records Law § 36-12-40 et seq.  I am requesting that the APOST Commission provide me a copy of the public writings listed below within 7 day of receipt of this request.  I understand from this above mentioned code that “every citizen has a right to inspect and take a copy of any public writing of this state.  The open records law does not stipulate that I must be from any specific county to request this documentation. 

1.    Please provide me the date of APOST training certification completed by Ron Livingston and Mr. Larry Berzett of the Morgan County, Alabama sheriff’s department.  I would like to know which class Mr. Livingston and Mr. Berzett attended and the location of course attended.  Mr. Livingston works for Sheriff Ana Franklin w/the position of Captain and Larry Berzett is now administrator of the Jail.   Both Mr. Livingston and Mr. Berzett are wearing deputy attire.  It is my desire to verify that both men are APOST certified. 

2.    My understanding of the training requirements is that the trainee must successfully complete 408 hours of basic training at an approved academy.  It is also my understanding that an applicant must have a minimum of one year experience as a gainfully employed, full time enforcement officer and must not have a break in service for more than two years following separation of employment as a law enforcement officer in said state.  Or obtain ten or more points based on a scheduled as identified in the APOST Administrative Code, Rule 650-X-4-.03.


If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost.  It is my understanding per the Code of Alabama 1975 Section 36-12-40 However, I would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the Sheriff’s promise for full disclosure.  This information is not being sought for commercial purposes.

The statute requires a response in a reasonable time period.  If access to the records I am requesting will take longer 7 days, please contact me in writing with information about when I might expect copies or the ability to inspect the requested records.

If you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies the refusal to release the information and notify me of the appeal procedures available to me under the law. 

Please advise me immediately if you need clarification of any part of my request.

Thank you for considering my request.


Sincerely,

xxxxxxxx Robinson
XXXXXXXXXX
Falkville, Alabama 35622

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