Where career meets ministry
MCSO officer rises to chief deputy
Even as a small child, Alan Host wanted to be involved in law enforcement. Having recently been promoted to chief deputy at the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office after a 14–year career in the field, he is now living that dream every day.
Host said he first got involved in law enforcement upon the advice of Sheriff Ron Puckett when he was a patrolman in the mid– to late–1980s.
“He would stop by the house, and I started asking him questions about law enforcement and how to get involved,” said Host. “He gave me some insight on what I needed to do. I started to go to Wallace and worked on a police science degree and started turning in applications at Hartselle Police Department. Finally, after my third application, they hired me.”
Host began working at Hartselle Police Department in 1991 and rose to the rank of lieutenant before going into full–time ministry in 1999. He continued in ministry through 2013 and then returned to law enforcement in 2014.
“One day I was cutting grass, and I got a call from a lieutenant that used to work here at the sheriff’s office, asking if I was looking for a job. It just so happened that I was starting to look for work,” Host said. A quick call from the lieutenant to the captain, and Host was on his way to a new role. “A few minutes later he called and said he would like to see you in his office, so I showered up and went. I was hired here in June 2014.”
Host said returning to law enforcement was an easy transition – one he saw as an extension of his ministry, not the end of it.
“It’s interesting because if you read the Bible, in Romans, it doesn’t talk about law enforcement directly, but it talks about government officials and law, so I think law enforcement is just as much a ministry as being on staff at a church,” Host said. “The thing is, in law enforcement, I run across a lot of people that would never darken the doors of a church, and I have had the opportunity to talk to and even pray for those that ask for it, and it’s been very interesting.
“A lot of times the people that I talk to in law enforcement I might never see again,” Host added, “but I believe the counsel or instruction I gave them or the prayers I offered for them were hopefully life changing.”
July 6 Host was sworn in as the chief deputy at the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office during a promotion ceremony. He said the promotion is something that he had prayed about but never pursued.
“I just prayed that (Puckett) would have the wisdom to put in who he needed to have. As it worked out, Chris Price was who he felt like he needed to have, and I was good with that; I didn’t have any problems or issues with that,” Host said. “Then, when it was mentioned that Chris wanted to be more boots on the ground and step down again, I didn’t approach the sheriff about that. I just prayed that he would have wisdom about whoever he felt like he needed to have in this spot.”
When Puckett offered Host the position, he said it was a no–brainer. As he continues to adapt to the job, he said he feels confident he is following the path God laid out for him – the path he first began to talk all those years ago at the HPD.
“Even though in the beginning I had some roadblocks, with my first two applications being rejected for whatever reason, I just felt like I needed to stay the course – and then that third time when I got in, I was just so excited,” Host said. “It’s definitely not a career for everyone; it’s definitely a calling to do it.”