‘Wanting to be a police officer was a calling’

Published 11:00 pm Friday, May 18, 2012

Brundidge Police Chief Moses Davenport said it’s always difficult for him to name an officer of the year because all of his officers are good.

However, this year, he said the choice was a bit easier because of the outstanding work of Officer Larry Sapp.

Davenport said that because of Sapp’s keen sense of observation, the Brundidge Police Department was able to apprehend the suspects in a two-year investigation into the break-in of vending machines in the city.

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“The night that the suspects were apprehended, Officer Sapp was on patrol and noticed a suspicious looking car parked at the Piggly Wiggly,” Davenport said. “He stopped and talked with the occupants of the car and everything seemed in order. A minute or two after the car drove off, the silent alarm went off. Officer Sapp located the car that had been parked at the Piggly Wiggly and made a routine traffic stop that led to the arrests.

“During a preliminary search of the vehicle, officers found money they believed came from the drink machines, drug paraphernalia, marijuana and guns,” Davenport said.“They had a whole bunch of keys, oodles of those special keys to unlock drink boxes.”

Since the silent alarm didn’t go off until several minutes after the drink boxes had been broken into, the officers would not have had any idea what to look for if Sapp had not stopped to investigate that suspicious looking vehicle.

“Not only did Officer Sapp help solve the crimes committed here, the investigation helped solve similar crimes in several other cities,” Davenport said.

Sapp has been a member of the Brundidge Police Department for five years and in law enforcement for seven years. He was an officer with the police department in his hometown of Daleville before coming to Brundidge.

“I guess you would say that wanting to be a police officer was a calling,” Sapp said. “I had thought about a career in the Army but, after I got home from Iraq in 1992, I served three years in the reserves and then got out.”

Sapp worked several jobs before making a career choice in law enforcement.

“I worked at the distribution center at Fleming Foods and at the Sears warehouse,” he said. “But, for some reason, being a police officer stayed in my mind.”

Sapp said becoming a police officer is not a decision that he has regretted.

“I love what I do,” he said. “I like knowing that what I do makes a difference.  Brundidge is a great place to work and it’s a safe place to live and I think that’s because of our police department. We work really hard to make sure that our town is safe.

“Of course, like all towns, we have somewhat of a drug problem but we work hard to keep drugs off the street. But our biggest problem is domestic issues.”

Sapp said that he has little patience with men who abuse women.

“I know about domestic issues from my own family,” he said. “Men are supposed to be men and a man should never hit a woman,” he said. “When I’m called out on a domestic issue, I try to talk to the man and tell his what his obligations are. I cannot stand for a man to hit a woman.”

Sapp works the night shift and he said he prefers the nighttime job.

“I like working nights because more things happen then,” he said. “I like being involved. It keeps you on your toes.”

Sapp said he realizes the dangers inherent in law enforcement and, early in his career, he was, at times, “a little nervous” about going out on calls.

“But, you get used to it,” he said. “I don’t have any fears anymore. I say my prayers and talk to the Lord before I leave home. Then I know that I’ll be all right.”