Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series profiling members of the emergency services departments in Pine Bluff.
After 22 years in law enforcement, Larry Gailey has “been there and done that” and said he stays on the job because “I love the work.”
Gailey, who is a field training officer for the Pine Bluff Police Department, started his career in 1995 at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and spent 12 years there before moving to the Police Department in 2007.
“When I came to work here I was accepted right away and told they were going to use my experience,” Gailey said.
Born and raised in the Sulphur Springs area, Gailey graduated from Watson Chapel High School, and in addition to his time in patrol and as a training officer, Gailey also spent time in the Detective Division, where he helped to train Detective Temmiothy Johnson and others.
“I am so proud of the fact that one or two of those that I’ve helped have been able to move up, and they’re now supervisors,” he said.
Gailey said it is not easy to be a training officer because every individual is different, and what works for one person might not work for another.
“There are all different types of folks and all have different attitudes,” he said. “Different people learn in different ways … sometimes it’s trial and error, but eventually they start to figure it out and it’s like a light bulb going off.”
While he said he would not object to going back to detectives and “being able to dig into the why and how, I’m just as happy in patrol.”
“I enjoy the streets and enjoy doing my job,” he said.
Gailey has been married for 25 years and said his wife understands the stresses of the job because members of her family were involved in public service in law enforcement and the fire service.
“She knows what it’s all about,” he said.
Gailey, who spends his off time hunting and fishing, said the past 22 years “have been very rewarding. It’s good to feel like you’ve helped someone.”
As for the future, Gailey said “in six years, (when he has 28 years on the job and can retire) I will have to make a decision.”