Bill Hayes has caught six suspects in the act during 40-year career.
MILTON, GA., July 14, 2010 - Around the Milton Police Department, 40-year police veteran Bill Hayes is known to his fellow officers as "The Hound Dog" - and for good reason. He seems to have a real nose for crime, not to mention a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
During his career, Hayes has caught six suspects in the act of allegedly committing burglaries. Most recently, he busted two men July 2 at Staton Heating and Air on Ga. 9 suspected of trying to steal air conditioning units. And Hayes hadn't been dispatched there, either. He was simply doing his nightly rounds when something caught his eye in the business's fenced-in storage unit.
"I came up in a big arc [in my police cruiser]," he said. "There they were, dressed in all black and huddled up on the fence."
According to a report of the incident, officers also found 13 air conditioning units - worth about $6,500 - lined up between the fence and wood line, plus bolt cutters.
Career numbers like Hayes' are pretty much unheard of, said Community Outreach Officer Andrew Phillips.
"Most officers might catch something like that once in a career," he said. "I, myself, in over 10 years have only caught one in the act."
Hayes, who retired from the Smyrna police in 2005, has been with the City of Milton since its police force deployed May 1, 2007. In fact, that first shift he caught a man trying to kick down a door in the Avensong Neighborhood.
"I had a report of two people walking between houses in the area with a backpack," he said. "All of a sudden I heard a big boom."
Hayes came upon two men trying to bust their way in to a home. One got away, but the kicker himself did not.
"I caught on the back of his leg right about his second kick," said Hayes.
Milton Police Chief Deborah Harrell said the secret to Hayes' success is his dogged determination.
"He's a very dedicated officer,' she said. "Officer Hayes has experience and loves the work. He takes very seriously protecting the people of Milton."
Hayes said it's a pleasure to police such a great community - the type of place where people routinely greet him warmly and offer hospitality while on patrol. It is the safety of those kind people's lives and property that keeps him going, he said.
"You've just got to be diligent and out there to catch them," he said. "Even an old, blind hog can root up an acorn every once in a while."
Incorporated on December 1, 2006, the City of Milton is a distinctive community that embraces small-town life and heritage while preserving and enhancing the city's rural character. The City of Milton is committed to maintaining the unique quality of life for its constituents while efficiently delivering essential services to residents and businesses in an interactive community environment. For more information, visit www.cityofmiltonga.us, or call 678-242-2500.