By Sara Humphries
Richard Nable’s career as a police officer and trainer has given him real-world experience that he brings to the classroom as a professor.
After working the street for 11 years, Nable became a Field Training Officer in 1998 and a firearms instructor about a year later. In 2014 he retired as a Captain with the Fulton County Police Department in Atlanta, where he was the David L Hagins Firearms Training and Testing Facility Director. One of the largest and busiest outdoor ranges in the region, Nable served an average of approximately 6,000 law enforcement personnel annually.
Nable has been an adjunct instructor with Reinhardt University since 2009 and was an assistant professor of Criminal Justice and Public Administration from 2016-2018. He continues to teach as an adjunct professor for the program. Additionally, he serves on the board of the Georgia Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (GALEFI).
"I had the great fortune of interacting with so many different people from a broad range of economic and social conditions, educational levels, and cultures. These experiences have allowed me to develop what I think is a well-rounded appreciation for people in general and has afforded me the privilege of a developed level of empathy for a large spectrum of people."
Nable developed courses and taught classes on a plethora of topics relevant to police work and civilian protection throughout his career.
"I try to teach general principles along with specific techniques. I also like to keep things simple. If something is too complex or complicated, people won't practice it. If you don't practice, that skill will perish. I think my training motto sums it all up: Train for the real world. Not the ideal world."
Nable enjoys teaching is always looking for ways to improve his teaching skills and remain current.
"I am always open to new ideas and I regularly test old ones. I try to think outside of the box and make learning as interesting as possible for my students. I encourage people to ask ‘why’ because, in doing so, we continue to advance. With greater understanding comes improved performance. If there is a better way to do something, I always want to know what it is."
Reinhardt University’s Criminal Justice program offers educational pathways to professional careers by linking the academic path to the police force profession's requirements.
"We have a cadre of instructors and professors with a variety of experience in virtually every aspect of criminal justice, and they are some of the finest people I know."
After dedicating his life to public service and spending time teaching future generations of public safety officers, Nable hopes for others to see the true intent in which so many of his fellow officers approach their career.
"The truth is that the vast and overwhelming majority of people in my profession are caring public servants who have devoted their lives to helping people, making our society safe and serving our communities."