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Officer Features :: Black History Month

February 21, 2007 by Teri Lanning

Page 3 of 4

In observance of Black History Month we will take a look at some featured SBPD officers and thier functions at the South Bend Police Department!

Division Chief Darryl Boykins
Sworn in- 1984
Uniform Patrol Division

“…My work ethic—which some consider strong. But it gives me strength to inspire others to do the best they can. That’s what I believe has allowed me to rise through the ranks at every job experience I have had.”

From starting out as a Patrol Officer to overseeing hundreds of officers in the Uniform Division, Chief Darryl Boykins has enjoyed building a diversified career in law enforcement, including the K-9 Unit, Excise Undercover, Internal Affairs Investigations and several Instructor certifications.

After promotions in rank, he has also commanded a number of special units, including K-9; Rapid Response; Neighborhood Enforcement Services Team (NEST); Tactical Rifle and the SBPD Youth Tennis and Boxing programs.

In 1992 he (and his K9 partner) was named “Officer of the Year,” and in 2005, received a “BEST COP” award from the Michiana Executive Journal.

To Chief Boykins, part of the idea of being successful is not just “surviving” but prevailing. Not afraid to “give his all,” he also lives and works to encourage others to do their best under “whatever circumstances”. And in law enforcement, that certainly plays out on a daily basis.

He grinned and added, “And oh yes, you could also say I’m quite determined. It’s my nature that when someone says something can’t be done, I’ll be even more motivated to find a way to make it work.”

Whether at work or at play—he also participates in several sports—Chief Boykins lights up when he says how rewarding it is for him to see others succeed. Whether congratulating one of the SBPD’s officers or one of the tennis or boxing youths he coaches on “a job well done,” his upbeat outlook is contagious.

Which in turn led to his “Enough is Enough” appeal to the community this past summer—hoping to quell violent trends among youth that began last spring. Community, organizational, minority and religious leaders joined with media and law enforcement to encourage citizens to “lay their weapons down” and resolve differences peaceably. The unprecedented cooperative efforts were encouraging and well received.

Yet many highlights of his career are recalled during his K-9 Unit years, with his beloved King Shepherd, Dieter. “I believe Dieter saved my life on numerous incidents; he had my back. K9 is one of the most dangerous jobs on the department. It’s most exhilarating…there’s nothing like tracking a man in the dark…recovering a criminal. We grew to be a great team and I trusted him completely; Dieter was a remarkable dog with great instinct,” said Chief Boykins.

He smiled and added, “We formed an incredible bond, like family,” smiled Boykins.

Not unlike the unspoken bond and brotherhood between officers sworn to “protect and serve.” And with that, Chief Boykins recently expanded and took over direction of the department’s Chaplaincy Program, integral in responding and serving as a “ministry of presence” to all SBPD officers, civilian employees and their families.

On a historical note, the program has three Black Chaplains, and for the first time ever, one is female. Chief Boykins explained, “Acknowledging the diversity of our police family and variety of needs, our Chaplains also recognize the great personal demands and sacrifices a police career sometimes places on our people and their families…we as police officers stand ready to serve our community but we also want to take care to minister to our brethren’s needs.” .

NOTE: We have assembled an extensive display of the heritage of Black Police Officers in the history of the South Bend Police Department, which is on display in the main lobby of the central police station, at 701 W Sample St.

This exhibit will be featured through the month of February 2007. We invite you to stop by for more photos, exhibits and more!

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