New cops join Selma’s growing force

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Brian Nichols would rather face the inherent danger of police work then the constant frustration of collecting money from deadbeat clients.

Nichols, 30, of Autaugaville, is one of two new Selma Police Department recruits who took their oaths of office yesterday.

Nichols and Tim Barnhill, 38, of Linden, stood in Police Chief Robert Green’s office Tuesday morning and swore to protect Selma residents &045;&045; then received their badges.

Nichols grew up in Selma and attended Dallas County High School before transferring to Gordo High School in Gordo, Ala. Since his marriage, though, Nichols has lived in Autauga County.

The Selma Police Department isn’t Nichols first experience with law enforcement. A few years ago, he began training with the Montgomery Police Department, but left before finishing.

Before coming to Selma, Nichols owned a construction company for about three years and worked at a number of jobs statewide, but eventually tired of the work.

Nichols is particularly interested in forensics or working with children as his future path within the police department.

Tim Barnhill has also had some experience with law enforcement: five years with the Demopolis Police Department, two years as an officer in Linden and an employee of a private security company for casinos in Nevada.

In his casino position, Barnhill watched the casino floor and the $1 million that was in the casino at any given time.

Barnhill also spent some time as a military police officer in Kansas, in addition to working in Korea and the Middle East as part of Desert Storm.

After eight years in Alabama, though, Barnhill’s ready to call Selma home.

Ten new officers have been hired since May 2002, Police Chief Green said. Ten vacancies in the department still exist, though Green expects more progress to be made.

Green wasn’t sure if all the empty slots would ever be filled, but said that the department would continue its efforts to hire officers.