Law officer of the year selected

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 17, 2002

Law enforcement officers are often under recognized for the hard work and effort they put forth each day.

Just ask their leaders.

From Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage to Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas to Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport, the top law enforcement officers were quick to offer nominations for "Officer of the Year."

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The honor is given as part of The Messenger’s annual salute to law enforcement. A special publication is included inside today’s paper.

And, in that edition, you’ll find information about the officer singled out for the honor. But, as the chiefs said, so many officers are deserving of recognition.

The nominees this year included:

Bob Bradbury, who works with the Pike County Sheriff’s Department. He is originally from New Jersey. He got married while he was in the United States Army. He and his wife currently reside in Alabama, between Goshen and Henderson. He decided to become a police officer because he enjoyed his earlier work with the military police. He said he loves to fight crime, but above all, helping others to feel comfortable and safe at all times.

Frank Wheeler, a deputy with the Pike County Sheriff’s Department. He investigates crimes, and also handles felony and misdemeanor cases. He knew that he wanted to be a police officer while he attended Hillcrest High School, but did various jobs, such as machine operator for a concrete company, before beginning his work at the sheriff’s office at the age of 32. He enjoys fighting crime so that Troy’s citizens feel safe.

Larry Hicks, a conservation officer with the Alabama Department of Conservation Game and Fish Division, has been recognized for his heroic efforts in rescuing a pilot whose plane went down in a lake in a residential section of Troy April 19.

Hicks was in his backyard when Jack Roush crashed into the lake in Palos Verde Estates. Hicks took his aluminum boat out to the plane, tied it off and dove three times before freeing Roush from the seatbelt. He pulled the pilot to the surface, and propping on the wing of the downed plane, gave him CPR and revived him. Emergency personnel transported the victim to shore and then to Edge Regional Medical Center.

Hicks suffered first degree burns to from exposure to aviation fuel. Roush was treated at ERMC and flown to a trauma unit at a Birmingham hospital. He is expected to fully recover from the injuries he sustained in the accident.

Officer Alan Sanders of the Brundidge Police Department has found favor with city hall for the outstanding way he has handled the task put before him.

Sanders has been given the dubious duty of enforcing two city ordinances that raise the ire of many of those found in violation. The city’s weed and abandoned vehicle ordinances are often abused, making keeping Brundidge beautiful a difficult task.

Sanders’ duty is to contact citizens deemed in violation of the ordinances with expectations of their compliance. Those who don’t comply are later served with a warrant and a date in court.

Because he has been efficient in getting residents to comply with the ordinances, he has gained the respect of the members of the city council and the city administration.

Sanders is also an excellent public relations representative for the Brundidge Police Department.

He keeps in contact with city merchants and is a liaison between them and the department.

Officer Christopher Brooks of the Brundidge Police Department is a rookie policeman with a little more than a year’s experience. However, he made an impression on his instructors at the police academy and Brundidge Chief of Police Moses Davenport had great expectations from him early in his career.

Brooks gives 110 percent to any task put before him. Once when given investigative work, as a test, he put the extra time and effort into it that was needed to successfully complete the task.

He not one of those who thinks he know it all. He listens and does what he is told. He understands who’s in charge and accepts authority.

Brooks wears his uniform proudly and his ability and interest will take him a long way. His positive attitude and leadership abilities will make him an outstanding officer.

He wears his police uniform proudly. His future as a police officer looks very bright.

Officer Sherry Shackelford of the Brundidge Police Department has gained the respect of many because she likes to talk to people. She has been able to get through to victims of abuse when no one else could. The victims have opened up to her and provided the police department with valuable information.

Today, Shackelford is the resource officer for the schools in Brundidge and she is making a difference. Shackelford said, contrary to what some might believe, students are under great pressure from their peers. Many students come to Shackelford’s office simply for the assurance that someone cares.

"Most of our kids are good," she said. "Only about

.02 percent are really bad. We need to know that and remember that."