Capt. Brooks retires from Troy Police Department

Published 3:00 am Saturday, May 30, 2015

Capt. Freddie Brooks, right, receives his firearm from Troy Police Chief Jimmy Ennis. Brooks served 30 years with Troy PD and said he would miss not only his family but his home, too.  MESSENGER PHOTO/SCOTTIE BROWN

Capt. Freddie Brooks, right, receives his firearm from Troy Police Chief Jimmy Ennis. Brooks served 30 years with Troy PD and said he would miss not only his family but his home, too.

For anyone leaving home is never easy, but for Capt. Freddie Brooks with the Troy Police Department it was a sad but joyous occasion.

Brooks, who came to the department in April 1985, was joined by friends, family members, coworkers, city officials and even a state representative for his last day at “home.”

“I felt very humbled because some of the people this information was coming from and that were making the comments were people that I mentored when I first came here,” Brooks said. “Like Lewis Fannon, he was already here when I came. Benny was already here when I came and for them to say those things about me meant a lot. We all went to school together and it was funny that we all ended up at the police department together.”

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A Troy native, Brooks knew the town well starting out at the department, but his riding partner, then patrolman Chief Jimmy Ennis, had not, which lead former police Chief Grady Reeves to put the two together. Ennis and Brooks both said that was the thread that held the two together during all these years.

“Today is a special day for you,” Ennis said. “Emotional. You served well for over 30 years. You’ve been a dedicated and loyal employee and a very good friend. They’re right that if you needed something done, Freddie knew how to do it. And, I appreciate it…everything.”

Brooks said during his 30 years with the department, he had seen it grow exponentially from officers having a car they could take home for themselves to vests to wear on shift. What he said was a major change from his first days starting with the force.

“You could walk down stairs and not even have a car to ride,” Brooks said. “The walkie-talkies we had, a lot of times, you’d have to take it from another officer, put another battery in it off the charger and go out with it. That’s all we had. We didn’t have any radios. I worked probably the first three nights without a vest, because we had such a shortage of equipment. But, they found me a used vest to wear.”

Rep. Alan Boothe, who served with Brooks in the Army Reserves, said it had been unique times and was thankful for the opportunity he had to serve under Brooks. Because of Brooks’ dedicated service and never-faltering leadership, Boothe adopted a resolution in his honor.

“I am probably one of the few, if not the only person in the room, who served with Col. Brooks in the Alabama National Guard CID,” Boothe said. “He was my boss. I was also the chairman of the public safety commission for the Troy City Council, so when he was in Troy, I was his boss. We had some real unique times. Freddie and I go back a long way…He’s helped me when I was at Troy University and he’s bailed me out a lot. I can tell you he was a great guy in the Alabama National Guard and a wonderful commander. One of the best I ever had.”

Others spoke on behalf of Brooks, including former classmate and former Troy Police public information officer Benny Scarborough.

“Police officers aren’t getting a real good rap today,” Scarborough said. “But I’m telling you when it gets down, you’re going to be looking for men like him. You’ll need him. Thank you to all of y’all, and I know this is Freddie’s time but I know what he would say also. He would say, ‘This may be my time,’ but he’s got to pass his torch to somebody and somebody has got to pick it up and tote it. Freddie, good job. You’ve done it. You did a great job. It was an honor to serve with you.”

Capt. Wayne Floyd also spoke in recognition of Brooks saying that as he punched his ticket one last time, Floyd would become the oldest serving officer for the City of Troy.

“I was sitting around thinking today, me and Freddie are the two old goats of the department,” Floyd said. “I started in 84, he started in 85. I thought, what’s going to happen when he leaves. He holds the distinction right now of oldest active serving police officer in the city of Troy. And, what’s that do when he leaves? That passes to me.”

Pausing to think about his time with the department, Brooks said he would always think of it as home and his brothers in blue as just that—family. But, while Brooks said he would be taking the time to tend to his flower beds, go fishing with his family and spend time with his two beautiful grandchildren, he said he would never be too far from home and only a phone call away for those needing technical help.

“The flowerbeds look bad,” Brooks said. “This spring I was going to put new pine straw down, but hey, I got sick. It didn’t happen, now I have weeds in my flowerbeds I have to get out. But, I’m going to get it done. When I was up there and trying to talk, it was so hard for me. I’m leaving my family. But it’s not so much I’m leaving my family. I’m leaving home and my family. I’m going to miss these guys. I’m going to come back up here and see folks. Say, ‘Hey, how ya doin’? Good to see ya.’ It’s tough.”