New Ellenton officer loves small town police work

EDITOR’S NOTE: This profile is part of an ongoing series on area law enforcement officers.

 

The New Ellenton Police Department is no Miami Vice, and that’s fine with Cpl. Detroit Spires.

“I really do enjoy the aspect of small town policing,” said Spires, 30. “You get to know people – get that community feel.”

It might be surprising then to hear that those cops who often engaged in large gun battles while cracking down on drug trafficking and prostitution in the 1980s television show Miami Vice are what inspired Spires to go into law enforcement.

“My whole life I’ve wanted to be a police officer,” Spires said. “I grew up watching all those wonderful shows like Miami Vice that make you think law enforcement is great.”

And it is great, just different.

“I couldn’t see myself doing anything else,” he said.

At 21, he started working at the Aiken County Detention Center. About two years later, he became one of six officers at the New Ellenton Police Department.

Chief Alesia Parks said Spires has been a good fit for the agency, bringing a young and energetic spirit to the force. He’s also curious, which can be very helpful.

“I’ve seen him grow (in his career) and he’s still growing,” she said of the 7-year member of the force.

Although it’s small, Spires said it offers him the opportunity to really know and work closely with residents instead of running from call to call like he would at a larger agency.

“We have everything you would in a larger agency,” he said, “except we’re compacted down to nine miles.”

A Southern boy at heart, the Jackson, S.C., native said he spends his time out of uniform hunting, fishing, riding motorcycles and, of course, spending time with his 18-month-old son.

“You have to have some sort of release after all the things you see (as a police officer),” Spires said.

DETROIT SPIRES

AGE: 30

FAMILY: son, 18 months

WORK HISTORY: 7 years with the New Ellenton Police Department

LIFE BEFORE LAW: Planning on a position in law enforcement

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