He was working for Dyncorp, a private security firm.
Willard, 44, had also served with the Northwest Georgia Emergency Response bomb squad, based in Floyd County, for five years; he left the department in 2008 to work for Dyncorp.
“He was a helluva nice guy,” said Floyd County Police Captain Tom Ewing, who serves on the bomb squad. "He was the best technical officer I have ever been around. He was always trying to make things better."
“Sergeant Willard was a loyal dedicated law enforcement officer as well as a true patriot,” said Calhoun Police Chief Garry Moss in a statement. Willard served with the Calhoun Police Department from July 2001 until April 2008; while there, he began as a patrol officer, working in that capacity until July 13, 2005.
He was then promoted to sergeant at the Calhoun Police Department and served as commander of the department’s SRT (Special Response Team), as well as a training officer and regional bomb squad technician.
Willard earned high praise from for his ability to train officers. While with CPD, he was responsible for the initial training of the SRT.
“Sgt. Willard was a visionary and prepared our officers for the future task they would encounter,” said Moss. “Sgt. Willard brought not only his police training, but his military training as well to the department to share with all law enforcement officers who participated in his training.”
Willard, along with another foreign national, died in Monday’s attack by Taliban in the southern region.
The U.S. Embassy said a suicide-bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the police training center in the southern city of Kandahar. It did not disclose the nationality of the other person killed.
Moments later, an attempt by two other bombers to enter the compound was foiled by security forces who shot them to death, reports quoting a spokesman for the provincial Governor said.
The Taliban attacks came a day after Afghan Interior Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar and intelligence chief Amrullah Salah resigned, owning responsibility for failure to prevent Taliban attacks on Afghan Peace Jirga last week.
RTTNews contributed to this report.