Former Centre Police Chief Val Courtney passed away Thursday (July 25th).
Courtney spent almost 19 years on the force as Chief.
He came on board with the Centre Police Department in November of 1992 – bringing with him more than 15 years of experience in law enforcement, and a bachelor’s degree in forensic science from JSU; prior to the Centre appointment, he’d worked as a police officer in Cedar Bluff.
Courtney had an extensive background in high-profile security, working with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry – including the Rolling Stones and Janet Jackson, along with Randy Owen of the group Alabama and the annual June Jam charity event.
He mastered three styles of martial arts, spent several years as a boxer, and was also a competitor in power weightlifting events.
Centre Mayor Tony Wilkie issued a statement Friday saying “With a heavy heart I would like to ask all citizens to pray for the Courtney Family. We lost a great man, police officer and a wonderful Police Chief. Chief Courtney was the heart of the Centre Police Department from 1992 until his retirement in 2011. All flags in our city will be lowered to half mast honoring Chief Courtney. From my office, city council members and all city employees, thank you Chief Courtney for making us all better people by being in our lives. Chief Courtney will be greatly missed.”
Courtney told the Cherokee County Herald in an interview in early 1993 (quote) “I want to keep everybody unified and working as a team; one thing that happens is sometimes a supervisor gets alienated from the other employees. I don’t want to see that happen. I think everybody here will come together, and do a good job.” He added “…anytime anyone thinks they have any ideas that need to be implemented they should let us know. We work for the people of Centre we’re gonna do the best we can to please them – and I’m gonna do the best job I can.” (end-quote).
And during his two decades of service Val Courtney did just that.