Boykins hires new town sergeant

Published 8:29 am Friday, April 9, 2010

BOYKINS—Folks in Boykins will be seeing a new face patrolling the town’s streets.

Town officials hired Willie Culpepper as its new sergeant. Culpepper’s first day was April 2.

He replaces James Henry “Hank” Fuller, who left on Jan. 31 to become a deputy with the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office.

“The people here are great,” Culpepper said Wednesday. “Everyone I have met so far has been wonderful.”

Culpepper was born and raised in Portsmouth, and began his law enforcement career in 1997 with the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office. After about 10 years, he joined Chase City Police Department in Mecklenburg County, where he served for three years as a patrol officer.

Asked what he liked about police work, the 39-year-old Culpepper said, “The love of the job. It’s different. I was a salesman for 10 years and I’ve worked in restaurants. Police work is different every day, that’s what I like about it. It’s never the same thing twice.”

Culpepper said he likes Boykins for several reasons.

“It’s centrally located,” he said. “If you want to go to Roanoke Rapids, or if you want to go to Tidewater, you’re within driving distance. You don’t have to drive all day and you still have the country life. I love that.”

The sergeant said he didn’t perceive there being too many challenges with keeping law and order in Boykins.

“The biggest thing out here, I guess, is just kids hanging out,” Culpepper said. “Possibly vandalism, stuff like that. Nothing major at this point.”

Mayor Spier Edwards said he was happy to have Culpepper aboard.

“I feel like Willie will do a good job for us,” Edwards said Wednesday. “He’s well qualified. He’s out there, wants to meet the public and is going around meeting business people and so forth. People will know who he is. He’s also been riding up and down the street at night and making the boys pay attention.”

Culpepper lives in Boykins with his fiancée, Kelly, and has two children — a 21-year-old son in Arkansas and a 14-year-old daughter in Texas. His son is interested in a career in law enforcement.

Culpepper was also to meet with officials in Newsoms over possibly working as that town’s police officer on a part-time basis. Fuller held that job and served Newsoms and Boykins beginning in June of last year.