Becoming a fifth-generation police officer seemed like the obvious route to go for Alexander City native Scott Fuller, who recently became the law enforcement teacher at Edward Bell Career Technical Center.
All of Fuller’s law enforcement ancestors worked in Tallapoosa County from his great-great grandfather working in the northern part of the county, to his grandfather serving as the Alexander City police chief, to him serving at the Dadeville Police Department as patrol commander.
In addition to his 11 years of service with the DPD, Fuller served as a military police officer in the U.S. National Guard from 2004 to 2012. His troop deployed to Iraq in 2010 for security detail.
“I could never make up my mind what I wanted to do so I joined the military with a couple buddies of mine,” Fuller said.
Fuller graduated from Benjamin Russell in 2002 and got his associates degree in arts at Central Alabama Community College before joining the military. Because the National Guard is part-time, he served at the DPD full time before getting hired as the law enforcement teacher at Edward Bell in September.
Fuller still works part time at the police department.
“It’s a lot less stressful,” Fuller said. “My home life is a lot better and the hours aren’t as bad. Going from working 50 hours of overtime to a steady schedule and things, it’s a lot less stressful.”
Fuller said he now gets to spend more time with his son who is deaf due to Usher’s Syndrome.
Fuller teaches law enforcement and public safety. Law enforcement goes over police procedures such as patrol, while his public safety class goes over law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medical services and more.
Fuller has regular visitors from other public safety agencies talk to his public safety class. Visitors include assistant district attorneys, paramedics and members of the State Bureau of Investigation. The class also got to visit the Dadeville Fire Department and talk to firefighters.
“I’ll tell them I’m a police officer all day long, but they don’t see me as one,” Fuller said. “They see me as a teacher, so I’ll get officers to come in. They’ll explain to them certain aspects of their job. They’ll bring the car down and (let students) look at it.”
Fuller has also taught students how police officers look at things objectively versus subjectively and what characteristics make a good officer.
“(I’m) trying to develop a new yard stick they can use to self-critique themselves to always do the right thing,” Fuller said. “Even if they don’t go into a public service-type field when they graduate, they’ll be a productive member of society.”
Students who aren’t interested in joining law enforcement are welcome to take the class if they’re simply interested in it.
Classes involve physical training and written and practical exams. Practical exams include learning how to clear a hostage situation scene.
A challenge for Fuller is dealing with three different school schedules when they let out early or have a special day and his students are then a day or so behind.
Fuller said his favorite thing about teaching is watching his students’ eyes light up when learning new things and asking a lot of questions. He said there are no secrets in his classroom and he will answer all student questions within reason.
“It’s good if I got these kids in here, especially when they’re young when they’re going to ask any question of anybody that I bring in and meet or whoever to try to understand why law enforcement is the way it is, why these other public service jobs are the way they are and I don’t hold back on anything,” Fuller said.