By Josh Troy
Sgt. Alvin Coley of the Clarksdale Police Department has been in the law enforcement profession for close to 20 years, with the goal of helping and protecting citizens. Coley’s efforts were recently recognized when he was named the Clarksdale Exchange Club Officer of the Year. A Clarksdale native, he has been with the Clarksdale Police Department for 13 years.
Coley acknowledged that some individuals do not like the law enforcement profession until they need police, but that does not stop him from doing his job. “I’ve been doing this job for a long time,” he said. “I do it because I love the job. If I can change just one person out there, I know I did my job. You can’t change everybody. Everybody doesn’t want to be changed.”
Coley thanked the Clarksdale Exchange Club for the award and Clarksdale Police Chief Robbie Linley for nominating him to receive the honor. “You have people like Chief Linley who are actually seeing what you’re doing and appreciating what you’re doing, and I have gentlemen like you and young ladies like you who appreciate you as well,” Coley said. Coley is a lifelong Clarksdale resident. “I plan on staying here for the rest of my life to watch over citizens like you,” said Coley to the Exchange Club.
Linley provided some of his thoughts about Coley. “I don’t have to ask him a lot when he works,” Linley said. “When he sees there’s a need and something needs to be filled in, if the staff is short, he’ll make an extra effort.”
In many instances, Linley said law enforcement does not have the best reputation. “I tell my guys we can’t sit here and respond to stuff and say that what they’re saying is not true,” he said. Linley said officers have the responsibility to continue doing their job. He expressed appreciation toward the Exchange Club for recognizing officers and said it helps morale in the department. “The fact that you still want to honor law enforcement gives us hope and encouragement,” he said.
Linley said officers patrol the streets 24 hours a day. He added that when officers make a traffic stop, they do not know what is inside a vehicle, and their lives could be in danger. “That’s what the officers face every day at every stop,” he said.
Linley said the best compliment he ever received came when he was off duty and was introduced to someone. He said the individual who introduced him mentioned that he was the person who keeps people safe when they are sleeping.