Logan to be honored for 50 years as officer

Published 12:18 am Thursday, May 16, 2019

Fifty years ago, Capt. Jenkins Logan became the first African American police officer in the Opp Police Department, and he said that he won’t stop working until the clock stops ticking.

Logan spent six years in the Army after graduating from high school in Andalusia in 1962. After the military, he worked at a cotton mill until he was approached to become a police officer in 1969.

“I saw something happen one time back then and I thought that I could make a change by becoming a police officer,” Logan said. “It was supposed to be temporary, but here I am 50 years later.”

Back in the day

Logan said that he stayed on the force because he enjoyed the work.

“I like people,” Logan said. “I enjoy talking with people and meeting different faces. I’m one of those people where if I see you in trouble, I’ll go rescue you, it doesn’t matter what it is. Danger is danger, but that don’t faze me. It’s my job and I’ll do whatever I need to do to even if it means putting my life on the line.”

He still remembers the first day on the job even if it was 50 years ago.

“The very first day I was in a police car, the chief at the time, Pete Johnson, picked me up from my house,” Logan said. “I just felt a little funny. We started going through town and I just started thinking, ‘Man, if folks see me in here, what are they going to think of me?’ All kinds of stuff were running through my mind. Once I got in the police department and got settled in, I was all right. The old guys that were here, they helped me along.”

Logan has seen a thing or two in the past five decades, but the thing that has changed the most over his time on the force has been the technology.

“I would say that the biggest change has been that all my friends have died,” Logan said. “But definitely the computers. I like to say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and that is how I feel about the computers. I just know enough to get me by. I mean, I graduated high school in 1962, so I didn’t know of no such thing. We used to say that typing classes were for the sisters and we would play football.”

Some may ask why Logan hasn’t retired yet. To that, he said that he still enjoys what he does.

“It is all I know,” Logan said. “It is all my life and I enjoy doing it. I hope everyday that I will meet somebody that I can help in his or her life. For example, if somebody gets in a domestic situation, and they are about to get a divorce, I’ll do everything I can to keep them together.”

Even though Logan was the first African American police officer in Opp, he doesn’t like to think that he is the stepping-stone for future African American police officers.

“I never really think about it that way,” Logan said. “I look at it as me just being a person. I look at other people as just being a person.”

Logan credits God for keeping him safe over the past 50 years.

“I feel like God has always watched over me,” Logan said. “I credit him for keeping me safe and I thank him for that.”

In his off time, Logan is an avid hunter and salt water fisherman. He has five kids, several grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

On May 30, there will be a 50-year celebration for Logan at the Opp Senior Center, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.