28 years of law enforcement

Published 10:54 pm Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lt. Collins Davis of the Troy University Police Department has police work in his blood. It may not have been put there through family ties, but Davis said it is part of who he is now.

“This kind of work has a tendency to get into your blood,” Davis said. “I have watched police officers get out of law enforcement and stay out of it just a short period of time before they have to go back into it. It’s addictive.”

Davis is currently in his 28th year in law enforcement. Davis first joined as a part of the Luverne Police Department, where he served for 14 years, and he is now in his 14th year with University Police. Davis knew what he wanted to do early in life and planned his education to prepare him.

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“When I came out of high school, I went into college studying criminal justice. From there, I went into police work,” Davis said.

During his time in law enforcement, Davis has experienced many things. However, he said he hasn’t had to worry too much about his own safety.

“I’ve seen a lot of stuff, but I’ve never been directly involved in a situation that I felt very uncomfortable about,” Davis said.

While Davis may not have been endangered while in the line of duty, he does have a connection to a recent tragedy.

“I knew Dexter Hammond personally when I was in Luverne and he was starting out,” Davis said.

Hammond was shot and killed in the line of duty on April 24 near Headland.

Hammond responded to an emergency call that 55-year-old Fred Davis was firing a weapon outside his residence. Upon arrival, Fred Davis shot Hammond with a rifle, fatally shooting the officer.

Word of the shooting soon reached headlines and airwaves across the state, with Davis being especially affected by the news.

“When it happens with someone that you know, even though I’ve been out of touch with Dexter for years, it hits close to home,” Davis said. “An officer that I saw on the news worded it best when he said, ‘We’re all family. When one goes down, we all feel for them.’” Even though police work is a dangerous field that sees many tragedies, there are many positive aspects of law enforcement Davis said he enjoys.

Working with University Police, for example, gives Davis an opportunity to make connections with students. “Working directly with the students is more community-oriented police work. You have a direct contact with them,” Davis said.

While Davis has enjoyed his time with University Police, he knows that his time in Luverne was important in his development as a police officer.

“Working out in a municipality, it gave me a chance to really learn the job and get experience as far as hands-on police work,” Davis said. “We apply that here at Troy, but we just don’t have to do that quite as in-depth as you do in a municipality.”

While 28 years of law enforcement may seem like a long and stressful life to many, Davis isn’t ready for a life of retirement just yet.