Investigator receives high honor

Published 3:48 am Sunday, February 3, 2008

By Staff
McLawhorn brings knowledge to county from FBI
By CLAUD HODGES, Senior Reporter
Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Captain Tim McLawhorn invested 11 weeks of his life in Washington D.C. at the FBI Academy during the fall to gain investigative methods and bring them back to the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Alan Jordan agreed with this statement.
Jordan said attendance at the academy is “very prestigious” and it will build on the leadership skills that McLawhorn already has.
Jordan said the sheriff’s office appreciates the relationship it has with the FBI’s local and state agents and appreciate’s the FBI’s invitation to McLawhorn to go to the academy.
McLawhorn was one of 301 law enforcement representatives who graduated Dec. 14 from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Va.
McLawhorn’s experience there included advanced investigative, management and fitness-training courses.
Specifically, he took courses including legal issues for command-level individuals in law enforcement, international communication for the law enforcement executive, leadership for law enforcement, seminar in investigative interviewing, interviewing strategies through statement analysis and fitness in law enforcement.
In his leadership training, he said the FBI Academy walked him through the possible different challenges of every day.
By establishing leadership action, he said his co-workers can get out into their environments and do better.
McLawhorn said the academy taught him different ways to encourage his co-workers to change their levels of thinking to fit the situations they might encounter.
In his legal issues class, he learned much about labor law.
People have to be accountable, according to this class; but, all law enforcement agency’s must be very specific when watching the legal said of their work.
In a class on interpersonal communication, McLawhorn was taught to come back to the sheriff’s office and show his co-workers how important it is for everyone in the organization to communicate effectively.
He said this class taught him to encourage his co-workers to speak up and bring issues up that they are thinking about that might affect the sheriff’s office.
Investigative interviewing was one of his most interesting classes, he said.
Learning to watch for what seem to be the insignificant actions often can break a case, he said.
McLawhorn said he brought back from this class, “Good, open questions should be the law enforcement interviewer’s tool for effective feedback.”
Physical fitness and its importance to law enforcement was one of McLawhorn’s favorite classes.
At the sheriff’s office, McLawhorn is in the narcotics drug unit and is commander for the tactical response team. He does all background investigation for possible sheriff’s office new employees, including deputies, those for the detention center and those for the communications center.
His learning at the FBI Academy will help him with his executive duties at the sheriff’s office.
In the end, he offers his recommendations to the sheriff and Jordan makes the final decisions on whom to hire.
At the FBI Academy, McLawhorn said the FBI said that it appreciates law enforcement agencies not only for their value in their local areas but for their value in being eyes for the FBI.
Meredith and McLawhorn are the only living graduates of the academy in the sheriff’s office. The late Sheriff Nelson Sheppard was a graduate of the academy.
However, Meredith said McLawhorn is “a better leader” now and he is bringing strong skills into the sheriff’s office to make Beaufort County “a safer place.”