Altavista Officer Getting Back into the Field

Altavista, VA - There is new information into the Altavista Police Sergeant who justifiably shot and killed Delma Towler last September.

Town officials confirm Larry Rigney is set to return to active duty in the coming days. He's been working behind the scenes since the incident.

Rigney has undergone lots of psychological testing. He was involved in another fatal shooting back in 2008.

For the first time since Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Donald Caldwell announced that no charges will be filed in the officer-involved shooting death of Delma Towler, 83, Altavista Police are speaking out, specifically about the psychology of Officer Rigney.

"He is coping well," Deputy Chief Kenneth Walsh said.

Rigney has undergone what officials call a "fitness for duty evaluation."

"Hundreds of hundreds of questions and there were several different types of tests that were used," Walsh said.

Altavista Police aren't saying which tests they use, but Clinical Psychologist Dr. Joseph Conley, Jr. says police departments often use the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory test.

"It's not to say that all police officers or even most have these characteristics but what i just told you has been demonstrated in literature in research on several occasions," Dr. Joseph Conley Jr. said.

Altavista Town Manager Waverly Coggsdale says what happened is tragic for the community, but says this is an opportunity for them to see what changes need to be made.

"We want to look at how we train and strategically do things so that they can have confidence and maintain that confidence in our department," Coggsdale said.

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