‘All I wanted to be and more’

Published 11:01 pm Friday, May 18, 2012

Investigating the abduction of a young woman and working to help solve a highly-publicized double homicide and rape case are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Det. Brian McLendon’s work at the Troy Police Department.

“His work ethic and dedication have helped solved a lot of these crimes,” said Capt. Danny Barron. “There are a lot of hours and a lot of sleepless nights, but he doesn’t mind. He wants to do the right thing.”

McLendon, 32, has been with the Troy department for six years, this month. Three of those years, he’s worked as a detective. Before his time at TPD, McLendon was with the Alabama Department of Corrections at Easterling Correctional Facility.

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“He’s very open to trying new methods and thinking outside the box,” said Troy Police Chief Jimmy Ennis. “He has an aggressive style of investigating cases and checks out every lead.”

Even with all he’s accomplished, McLendon is humble about what some people would call “above and beyond.”

“I always told myself I wanted to do something to make a difference,” McLendon said. “There were things that happened to me a long time ago and I thought, if I could keep them from happening to someone else, that’s what I wanted to do with my life.”

McLendon said being a law enforcement officer is “all I wanted to be and more.”

One of his skills, his supervisors said, is McLendon’s ability to put victims and their families at ease during difficult times. McLendon said a former TPD officer, Calista Everage, instilled his demeanor with victims. Everage was the first female police officer with TPD and retired in 2010 after 30 years on the force.

“I will always remember what she taught me,” McLendon said. “You really need to ease someone’s mind that you are working for them and truly want to help them.”

McLendon said that the right attitude is also important when dealing with suspects. He said he strives to be courteous to everyone, until they give reason not to be.

The seasoned detective said he couldn’t pick a day on the job that he’d consider the best because there are too many great moments to choose from – including the day he was hired by TPD.

“The day you arrest someone for child abuse and are able to tell a child they won’t be hurt by that person again, that’s a good day,” McLendon said. “The day you arrest someone for capital murder and are able to share that with a victim’s family, that’s a good day.”

But, McLendon is also quick to say police work is a team effort. None of his victories were achieved alone.

“I can’t tell officers enough how much I appreciate them and rely on them,” McLendon said. “Without the full structured team, I couldn’t do anything. But it’s more than that, more than work. You make friends that are life-long. It’s a family.”