Hayden named 2019 Officer of the Year at AMVETS ceremony

Published 5:16 pm Friday, August 28, 2020

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By: Donnamy Steele

Sergeant Mike Hayden was awarded 2019 Officer of the Year at the AMVETS Post 23 on Monday.

Hayden serves as the Administrative Sergeant for the Andalusia Police Department.

Hayden never imagined that he would make a career of being a policeman. In 2007, he was offered a position and thus began his journey with the department.

“It’s kind of a funny story. I didn’t really want to and I didn’t go looking for it. I was one of the managers at the charterhouse and at the time I was running a karate school when two cops came by,” Hayden said. “They came by and talked to me and said I know you’ve been teaching kids and we think you’d be a good cop. They said why don’t you apply and I did.”

In Hayden’s 21 years with the department, he has acquired many responsibilities.

“In 2007 when I was deployed for the last time in the military, I applied and I was offered the position because I had computer knowledge. I’m the administrative sergeant, cell phone forensic examinations, all the way to suite maintenance management and everything in between,” Hayden said. “I manage databases, evidence technician, I pretty much do everything between the street and upstairs and support officers with vehicle maintenance and tire replacement. I work the street like everybody else. I get to get the guys what they need and I have the support role and I feel like I can do it pretty well. I do a little bit of everything.”

Hayden finds his job extremely rewarding, making it worth the chance he took to become a policeman years ago. Hayden cherishes the ability to help people the most for his job.

“I can answer that in many different ways, but the biggest thing is being able to help people. Not everyone wants to do this job. It is tedious at times. Some people have been knocked, spit on, and cussed out, but we still keep coming back. It’s the one person you can help that makes the difference,” Hayden said. “There are lots of jobs with computer forensics computer security that I could do, but with this I have the opportunity to make a difference. It could be once or twice or many times throughout your career, but it’s the one time that makes the difference.”