By: Mark Nave and Ali Elizabeth Turner
For 40 years, 85-year-old Ernest Nave honorably served in the Alabama National Guard. He spent much of that time as “First Sergeant” for D Company, 1343rd Engineer Battalion. He remembers his time served with fondness for those serving with him. As if working full-time for the Guard wasn’t enough, Ernest also served as a reserve deputy with the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office for 12 years under then Sheriff Buddy Evans. At the time, Ernest had no idea that he would have a son, Mark Nave, and a grandson, Christopher Nave, follow in his footsteps. “It was a simpler time,” Ernest recently told Mark. “There was no real talk about drugs back then, and we didn’t do as much training as deputies do today,” he added. However, in addition to being on patrol with a full-time deputy, dealing with traffic and responding to calls with a full-time deputy, they did deal with what were, back then, considered to be “bootleggers.” Limestone County was still a dry county, and people were bringing in booze from Huntsville.
Several years ago, Mark sought training from Cameron Bucy, owner of Security Defense Solutions. Cameron provides high-level firearms training, security, security consulting services, self-defense classes, and investigation services. I can personally say SDS is excellent. I took firearms and self-defense training from Cameron myself, and I am grateful for the level of confidence his training has given me. Furthermore, if I know that SDS guys are the ones that are assigned to protect, they will do it well.
These hard skills that Mark learned from Cameron opened up a conversation with Sheriff Mike Blakely four years ago while they were at a Coffee Call at the Veterans Museum. Blakely told Mark that he would be a good candidate for a reserve deputy position. Mark had not really considered it before but was intrigued. He is not ex-military like his father, and did not wish to quit his full-time job at SA Recycling to pursue a career in law enforcement. The reserve deputy position seemed to be a good avenue for applying his “protector skills.” Mark said, “The main goal that I wanted to achieve was to earn the respect of all the deputies, and for them to know that I would do everything I could to make sure that they went home safely to their families after every shift.”
Mark is currently enrolled in the reserve academy. It is the police academy designed for those who work civilian jobs Monday through Friday, but are willing to attend academy training on the weekends. If all goes as planned, he will graduate in about a year. “None of this would be possible if I didn’t have the support of my SA Recycling family,” says Mark. “My boss, Jordan Quinton, has been a great encouragement, and I want everyone to know how blessed I feel to work for SA. In addition, Sheriff McLaughlin has been wonderful. He runs the reserve program as it should be, and has earned the respect of us all. He certainly has our full support,” Mark noted.
Recently, Mark’s oldest son Christopher became a reserve deputy for the LCSO, making him the third generation of the Nave family to do so. Christopher has also trained under Cameron Bucy for several years developing the same types of skills as his father. “Christopher loves people and truly has a servant’s heart,” Mark says. “These are characteristics that you hope every deputy has that is responding to your 911 call,” he added. Christopher is considering a career in law enforcement and the reserve deputy program is a good way to find out if it will be a good fit for him.
Mark further noted, “The reserve deputy is a volunteer position. The main objective is to provide support to the full-time deputies. The reserve must meet the same standards and certifications as the full-time deputies when it comes to the physical abilities test as well as firearms qualifications for each piece of equipment used. In addition, reserve officers need to be able to meet the minimum service hours per month.”
So here is the “invitation part” of the article. Sheriff Josh McLaughlin is looking for “a few good men…and women” to consider volunteering as a reserve deputy officer. What do you need to be considered and to do well? More than anything, you need to have a heart to serve, a love for the people of Limestone County, and a desire to be part of a challenging and satisfying set of opportunities to give back. The LCSO has room for all kinds of people, including but not limited to ex-military personnel, pilots, doctors, retired officers, first responders, and people involved in the personal/executive protection industry.
Consider joining the ranks, and contact the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office at 256-232-0111 to find out how. Who knows? It just might become a family affair!
By: Mark Nave and Ali Elizabeth Turner