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Helping people keeps veteran police officer going

Staff writer

The urge to help people is what has kept Hillsboro assistant police chief Randy Brazil going for 22 years in a field where he’s seen things he’ll never forget.

“I’ve always wanted a job with a purpose and not knowing what the next call’s going to be,” Brazil says.

Finding that purpose led him to 15 years with the Marion County sheriff’s office and seven years with the Hillsboro police department.

“The saying is, you’re out there to help people, and that’s 100% true,” he says. “I’ve always had the mentality to make things better.”

Brazil says that 93% of the time, when he arrives at a scene, somebody is upset.

Over the years, the cases that hurt the most were the ones where a child was the victim.

One case that stands out was a 1995 wreck in which a drunken driver hit the rear of a car on US-56, pushing it into the path of an oncoming car. The driver of the oncoming car died.

“Every time I drive by, I think of that,” he says.

He also remembers a case about five years ago in which a man took bogus prescriptions to drug stores in several towns to get prescriptions, amassing a huge quantity of drugs.

“When I was at Tabor from 1986 to 1990, I wanted to help people,” Brazil says.

Brazil was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma, and grew up in a happy family.

“My folks divorced, but everybody got along,” he says.

His father is deceased, His mother lives in Prairieville, Arkansas.

He and his wife raised four children and have three grandchildren.

“The hardest job I’ve ever had is being a parent. In the blink of an eye, they were gone,” he says. “The best job I’ve ever had is being a grandparent.”

He wouldn’t change anything about his life.

“I’m happy with the way things have transpired through the years,” he says.

He always enjoyed that in law enforcement, he has worked a variety of situations.

“It’s something different every day,” Brazil says. “I like seeing the joy of kids’ faces when we go up to them.”

The one thing he does wish he could change is an attitude some people take against law enforcement.

“We don’t necessarily see that happen here,” Brazil says.

Still, he wonders whether that attitude will spill over here.

“I think one of the best things that has happened was the invention of the body cam,” he says. “It documents everything you do and it means you don’t have to rely completely on your notes.”

Last modified Aug. 25, 2022

 

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