‘All I ever wanted to do’Published 12:03pm Monday, May 20, 2013
University police officer finds new niche after 20 years in Montgomery
When Frank L. McCracken, Sr. retired from the Montgomery Police Department, he didn’t stay idle.
He first went to work as a police officer with Baptist Hospital and then made the move to the Troy University Police Department in 2000.
“When I was growing up, this was all I ever wanted to do,” McCracken said. “A fellow at our church was the captain of the police department in Montgomery and we always talked about his job.”
McCracken’s career began in 1966 with a 20-year term of service at MPD where he started off as a patrol officer and later became a crash investigator. Then, he “rode a motorcycle for 17 years.” When he retired, McCracken was a lieutenant in the department’s traffic division.
McCracken said working at the university as a state police officer is different than his time at MPD was.
“Most of the students we deal with have never been away from home,” McCracken said. “They get out on their own and things are different.”
McCracken said that is true in both the cases of troublemakers and those who are feeling a little out of their comfort zone and just need an officer to check on them.
“I like everything about my job here,” McCracken said. “The main focus is just mingling with the students and faculty and staff and making sure everyone is safe. It’s important to have that one-on-one relationship with people here.”
McCracken said that a police presence on campus deters a lot of potential crimes.
One aspect of McCracken’s former MPD career that comes in handy is he was in charge of the Crampton Bowl detail for 12 years. He said that he’s no stranger to crowd control and that is important when it comes to sporting and other events happening on campus.
In addition to his duties on campus, McCracken is also the assistant sergeant at arms when the Alabama Legislature is in session.
McCracken and his wife, Cindy, have five children and 13 grandchildren.
“That’s why I’m still working,” McCracken laughed. “I really do enjoy working here. I’ll be 70 in July and I’m still at it. I’ll be here as long as I can.”