First Responders: Sumter Deputy Brandon Franklin
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Our latest First Responder is Deputy Brandon Franklin.
“This is a calling. If you come to just do a job, it’s not just a job. Every day we wake up, there’s a calling to do this. It has to be something you’re passionate about,” Franklin said.
Deputy Brandon Franklin has been with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department for six months. He began his law enforcement career in 2013 at the Alabama Department of Corrections. Being a deputy wasn’t in Franklin’s plan when he was younger.
“I played basketball in high school,” Franklin said. “It was my dream to be a basketball superstar. After the accident, I just wanted to help people. If I can stop one drunk driver or if I can stop one domestic abuse, then I’ve done my job”
The accident referenced involved Franklin’s father. He was killed by a drunk driver several years ago. Through personal experience and pain, Franklin has the ability to relate to people while he’s on the job.
“I can sympathize with them and I can let them know that this is just here today. It won’t last forever. The hurt will go away. It’s more sincere coming from me because I’ve dealt with that from a domestic side and driving under the influence side,”
Riding with Franklin is a unique experience. He always has his partner “Petey” by his side.
“He’s actually a ventriloquist doll. My dad was killed by a drunk driver and the day he was killed he gave me this doll. I’ve had this doll for 25 years. I bought a police officer uniform for him and he rides with me every day while I’m on duty,” Franklin explained.
Franklin’s guardian angel also provides comic relief. Franklin said Petey is good at breaking the ice in a tense situation.
“People will see him sitting in my vehicle and just start laughing. They question me about the doll and it de-escalates the situation,” Franklin said.
Franklin is married and has six children. He said one of his kids loves when he comes home from duty.
“He waits. No matter what time I get off, he is sitting there waiting to put my vest on or to take my gun belt to the house,” Franklin said. “My family supports me 110 percent. They worry, but they support the profession.”
Franklin wants the public to know something very important about being in law enforcement.
“We are not here to hurt, we are here to help. All cops are not bad. That’s what I want the public to know. At the end of the day, it is our job to help,” Franklin said.
Franklin will be an officer for as long as possible. He loves it.
“When I retire I think I’m going to come back after retirement and do it for a long time. I think Arkansas has a police officer that’s 90-something years old. I might try to be that 90-something year old police officer,” Franklin said.
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