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Terry Walker ... Taking pride in his work

Thursday, June 25, 2009

(Photo)
Criminal Investigator Terry Walker is a five year veteran of the Fulton County Sheriff's department and takes great pride in serving the community. Photo by Niki de Soto
Criminal Investigator Terry Walker with the Fulton County Sheriff's office says treating people with respect, and really listening to them is one of the keys to doing a good job.

"Our duties encompass many areas," said Walker. "We go from serving papers, being bailiff in court, transferring prisoners, drug investigations - especially for prescriptions drugs -- and working traffic accidents to investigating burglaries and deaths and escorting funerals."

Plus, there's all the paperwork that goes with that. Walker said to do the job correctly, deputies have to file reports, take extensive notes, and thoroughly document the scenes through photography and evidence gathering.

With only five deputies on staff plus the sheriff, when a call comes in, the response times can be a bit slower than some people might expect.

"A lot of times people get aggravated because it can take us some time to respond to a call. If you're the only deputy on duty and you're working on one side of the county and the call is for the other side of the county, it could take you close to an hour to get there," said Walker. "Our response time is not like the big cities, because we are so short handed here. You have to be careful driving on gravel roads and we have a responsibility to the public, 24/7, to drive safely and not cause an accident ourselves."

An avid scuba diver, Walker enjoys his time away from the department diving at Norfork and Bull Shoals' Lakes. Married and with a grown daughter, he's comfortably settled into the community.

"I really enjoy assisting people and seeing those smiles when things work out. When we find a missing child and bring them home to their parents or guardians, it's those smiles that let you know you've done a good job. Sometimes people may think that we're impersonal, but they need to realize that we can't let our emotions and our feelings cloud our judgement."

According to Walker, the most dangerous call a deputy can take is for a domestic dispute.

"These are very unstable environments. People don't realize that. Most officers in the first two minutes responding to a domestic dispute are killed in the line of duty. You might think it would be during a burglary or a gun fight, but it's not -- it's during these domestic disputes," said Walker.

As investigator, Walker also makes sure that convicted sexual predators are properly registered with state agencies and follow state mandated guidelines. Every six months, offenders have to update their current information and bring it to Walker to verify.

"When new ones come into the area, we have to be very careful, because depending on their level, they are restricted as to where they can live. If they are level three or four's, they cannot live within 2,000 feet of schools, parks, churches -- any kind of public place. That's over a quarter of a mile and in small towns, that limits their options," said Walker.

But no matter the situation he may find himself in, Walker never looks upon it as a problem. "There's no such things as problems. You have an opportunity to increase your knowledge, your skills and your abilities. So if you come up and think, 'I've got a problem,' instead see that you have an opportunity to better yourself."


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You are right Terry

"There are no problems only Opportunities"

-- Posted by troutman on Wed, Jul 1, 2009, at 9:48 AM


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