After Navy, Samuel came home
By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
Some people put themselves up front and visible to the public, but Sgt. Buddy Samuel is not one of those people. He is steadfast in his job as an officer with the Brewton Police Department where he has been employed for the past 13 years. He is a quiet man who goes about his daily life without drawing much attention to himself. But, if someone needs him, he is ready to come to their aid.
Samuel joined the police department in October of 1992 after serving about nine years in the U.S. Navy. He had done some shore patrol while in the military service and thought being a policeman would be something he could be good at.
Once he became an officer he joined others in the department who work 12-hour shifts and cover four sectors of the city. They answer any kind of call that comes in and they have to rely on each other to cover if something comes up where they need help in a situation.
Brewton is like other police departments in many ways. It has some of the same problems, but it also is very different. Brewton is not like New York City, but it's not like Mayberry either. Police officers in Brewton don't deal with a lot of murder and mayhem and we can all be thankful for that. In fact most of the work done by the police would be considered routine. They will still come and open your car door when you have locked your keys up inside. They direct school traffic and help with funeral traffic. They check the businesses to make sure no one left the door unlocked at night and an endless number of other mundane tasks.
But, when you need someone to come to your rescue in a more risky or life-threatening situation, they are just as ready to come to your aid. They cover disasters on the highway and see first hand the results when speed laws and seat-belt laws have not been observed. They see what happens when someone drinks too much, uses drugs or sells drugs.
McGougin has some nice words to say about Samuel, too.
Samuel was born in Brewton and started school at what used to be Booker T. Washington School on Liles Blvd. He attended classes there until he was in the fifth grade. At that time he, and his three brothers and three sisters, made some big changes in their lives. His mother, who was a nurse, got a much better job in upstate New York. She moved her family of seven children to Fallsburgh, N.Y., and Samuel graduated from Fallsburgh High School in 1978. He was, what he calls, an average student who was involved in sports.
After his graduation from high school he worked at a job for a short time and then went into the military by joining the U.S. Navy in 1979. He served in the Navy until 1983 and came back to Brewton, as his family had moved back here. He went back into the Navy in 1985 and stayed until 1992, serving on the Eisenhower and the Lexington where he was the aviation storekeeper. His ships were deployed to the Middle East during Desert Storm and the unrest in the area.
He came back to Brewton and in the fall he went to work for the Brewton Police Department.
He married Kristal in 2004. She works at Wal-Mart and helps to run the tobacco shop in Brewton Heights Shopping Center. They have a daughter, Jovan, who is 6, and a son, Jymon, who is almost 2.
In his spare time, which he has very little of, he loves to work with cars, big ones and model cars. He has one car that he takes to the drag races in Atmore.
Samuel knows that he has a job that could turn dangerous at any minute. He never lets his guard down.