Former Selma Police officer promoted as ALEA Captain

Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2024

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Donald R. Shepard Jr. worked his way toward a law enforcement career.

Shepard was recently promoted to captain in the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s  Department of Public Safety. Shepard will serve as the commander of Troop C, consisting of the Tuscaloosa and Selma Post covering 10 counties in West Alabama. Selma Post serves Dallas, Perry, Wilcox, Hale and Marengo counties. Tuscaloosa Post serves Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Pickens, Greene and Sumter counties.

“I’m very honored and humbled, I’m excited about my future with ALEA,” Shepard said. “I’ve enjoyed serving the citizens of West Alabama for the past 28 years. I hope that my life and career inspire others to follow in my footsteps and want to become an Alabama state trooper.”

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A 1992 graduate of Citronelle High School, Shepard credits working at the Selma Police Department played a key role at the start of his career.

“I worked at the Selma Police Department for six-and-a-half years on the third shift,” Shepard said. “I had the opportunity to learn from the best supervisors anyone could have – Capt Micheal Perry, Lt. Gary Vancil and Sgt. Chuck Webber. We were a close a close shift, we had a dynamic team, there were great officers like – Calvin (Doc) Brantley, Willie Felder, Jimmy (Jam) Sturdivant, Moses (Quake) Suttles, Randy Tucker, David Hopkins, Glenn Lewellen and Jeff (The Flash) Persinger.

“For three and half  of those six years, I served as sergeant on the night shift, the famous B-4 squad. We had some new officers with the same drive, like Mike Rushing, Josh McDanal, Brian Dixon, the late Fredrick Walker, Harry Tubbs, Brian Gallion and the late Troy Stokes. We made sure everyone went home,bad guys went to jail, and we were fair and compassionate to the citizens and dedicated to the City of Selma. Some of my best years were spent at the Selma Police Department.”

Shepard, the son of Donald R. Shepard Sr. and Wilma Shepard, said family and a mentor always encouraged and supported him.

“I wish my mentor the late Selma Police Chief E.L. Tate and my late grandmother Vivian Shepard were here to enjoy this accomplishment with me,” Shepard said. “My career has been a blessing and I intend to go as far as God allows me. My wife, Tracy Shepard, my daughters, Calandra Morrow, Jailyn and Kailyn Shepard, Jada and McKinley Braxton and my grandson, Mason, have inspired me to reach my goals.”

Shepard recalls memories of his opening duty as a trooper.

“My first assignment as a trooper was Wilcox County, where I met Sgt. Clarence Mitchell of the Wilcox County Sheriff Department who showed me the ropes,” Shepard said. “I eventually transferred home to Dallas County. Training to be a trooper was different, but I had the best field training officers in the state, current ALEA Training Academy Capt. Terry King and retired Cpl. Nobert Neely. I also worked with retired Cpl. Jeff Walker, trooper John Reese and retired Lt. Sylvester Martin. I spent a couple of years in criminal investigations with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation Division, where I learned from the best criminal investigator in the state, retired Deputy Chief Johnny Tubbs. We worked several cases together, along with Dan Watson, David Ratcliff and Joe Lee.”

Shepard speaks proudly of the numerous people that helped advance his career.

“Some would ask why I mentioned so many names. It’s because these are the people who have had so much influence on my career,” Shepard said. “These are the people along with my family, I owe this promotion too. I would be remiss if I did not mention one of my closest friends, Sgt. John C. Young with the Mobile Police Department, and the late Citronelle Police Chief Clarence Parker. I am forever indebted.”