Lt. Barry S. Wilkerson has been with the Louisville Police Department for 19 years. He's been the commander of SWAT, property crimes, patrol division, fleet services and the training academy.
Wilkerson has been a lieutenant in homicide for over two years. "Seeing death itself isn't that bothersome, but the grief the families endure tends to wear on you," Wilkerson says. To combat this, Wilkerson's strategy is to separate his professional life from his personal life. "It is the best technique but the hardest to master, as there is no continuity in your life with the 24/7 life of a homicide detective."
The Lieutenant is especially proud of the men and women on his team. "Every day you go to work, you are among a select group of individuals that are willing to sacrifice personal agendas and risk their lives for the greater good of the community."
Wilkerson and his wife Holly have been married for twenty-three years. They have three daughters and a grandson. When he's not working homicides, Wilkerson coaches high school baseball and enjoys spending time with his family.
Sgt. Denny Butler was born and raised in Louisville. He joined the force in 1991, and entered the homicide unit in 2007. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, watching the ponies, and of course, spending time with his beautiful family.
Sgt. Aaron Crowell was born in LA and raised in Louisville, KY. The Sgt. is a US Marine Corps Veteran with ten years of experience in the LMPD. Prior to joining homicide in 2009, he worked in the 1st Div., Narcotics and Criminal Intelligence Units. Having always had a respect for the men and women who serve their country, be it military, police, firefighter, etc., Sgt. Crowell has wanted to be a police since he was a child.
There are three qualities in particular that Sgt. Crowell credits to being a good detective, patience, tenacity and interpersonal skills. He is proud to be given the opportunity to pursue the most dangerous criminals in society and try to seek justices for the victim's family.
Police work in general can take its toll on you. To cope with the stress, Sgt. Crowell tries to leave work at work and focus on my family when I'm off. Married with 3 children, the Sgt. is just as busy outside of work, running to various games, practices and activities that his children participate in.
A former UPS Supervisor, Sgt. Troy "Kevin" Thompson joined the Louisville Police Department 14 years ago because he had an aversion to office work. His father and brother are both police officers.
Before joining homicide two years ago, Thompson worked in the narcotics and public integrity unit. This experience gave him the foundation to be a successful homicide detective. "You need to be able to look at problems from different angles and you need a good background of the streets," he says.
Although the job can be tough, Thompson credits his fellow officers with helping him cope. "We talk about the ones that are tough. You can't hold it in." He also says humor is a good tool to deflect the intensity of the crimes he investigates. Thompson says the best part of the job is "helping families and getting the worst criminals off the street."
Thompson and his wife Christie have two children. He enjoys hunting, fishing and riding ATVs.
Det. Danny Alpiger has been with LMPD since 1991, and joined the homicide unit 1999. When he is not in the office, he enjoys hiking in the Kentucky wilderness and spending time with his wife and son.
A Louisville native, Det. Rick Arnold credits his childhood experiences for inspiring him to pursue a career in law enforcement. As a kid, while at the movies with his family, his house was burglarized. "I remember how that affected my family," Arnold says. With a career in law enforcement, Arnold envisioned "the chance to have a positive effect on the family's of victims of violent crimes."
A seventeen-year veteran of the Louisville Police Department, Arnold has previously worked patrol, district gang, domestic violence/sex crimes, and has worked as a deputy sheriff. Arnold joined homicide five years ago and sees it as, "the opportunity to showcase overall investigative skills."
Arnold is married with two children. He enjoys playing and coaching sports, as well as household improvement projects and landscaping.
"Police are unique people," says Det. William Brown of the Louisville Police department. "In any other profession you can distance yourself from co-workers. As a police officer you understand that you may have to die for that person. We are special."
Brown has been on the force for ten years and says he joined the LPD "to serve my hometown." He has spent the past two years in homicide, after having worked with flex narcotics and Metro Corrections.
Brown admits that he takes all of his cases personally , which can sometimes be taxing. To get through it, he says, "You must have a good religious foundation and strong family support."
Brown has a teenaged son and daughter. He is a sports fan and follows the Celtics, Cubs and Cowboys. He also likes to work on his muscle cars.
Before joining the Louisville Police Department six years ago, Det. Corey Cadwell served as a military police officer in the National Guard. He has spent the past year and a half in the homicide department.
Cadwell was drawn to law enforcement because he saw it as "a challenging career with something new every day." He thinks the ideal homicide detective is "someone who never stops caring for their victims and their families." Cadwell is proud knowing that through his work, he is making a difference.
Cadwell and his wife Becky have been married for over four years. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and playing golf.
"I've always wanted to be a police officer since I can remember," says Det. Mickey Cohn. "I believe it is a calling." In college, he was fascinated by the study of serial killers, mass murderers and homicide investigations. Cohn joined the Louisville Police Department ten years ago.
Cohn joined homicide 4 years ago after working in narcotics, patrol and aviation. "To take another person's life is probably the most serious crime someone can commit," says Cohn. "And to hunt down those who commit these crimes, build an investigation and put them in prison is rewarding. I am especially proud to be a homicide investigator." Cohn believes a good homicide detective is patient, level headed, a good listener and a good communicator.
"I wanted to be a police officer as long as I can remember," says 7-year Louisville PD veteran, Det. Kristen Downs. "I almost lost my mother when I was younger," she says, "and I have never forgotten how great one of the detectives was with me that day. I wanted to give back."
Downs has been with the homicide unit since 2008. "Being in homicide can wear on you," she says. "Not only do you see the worst side of humanity in your suspects, but you also see the damage that is done to the victim's families." To counteract that, Downs says that outside of work she surrounds herself with positive people.
On her free time, Downs likes to spend time with friends and family, as well as assisting to manage an intramural female rugby team.
"Homicide investigators are a truly special breed of people," says Det. Terry Jones. He has spent the past 21 years of his 23-year law enforcement career in homicide. Nicknamed "The Rhino," Jones is also a United States Marine Corp veteran and was the first African-American homicide detective on the former Jefferson County Police Department.
"Homicide was not my first choice," Jones says, "but it eventually grew on me and became more gratifying." Jones says the job can sometimes wear on him. "I've had sleepless nights," Jones admits, "but I try to leave this job at the office." He praises his family as being understanding of his demanding job.
Jones is married with children. In his spare time he enjoys riding motorcycles with friends and spending quality time with his family. He is a sports fanatic and regularly attends University of Louisville basketball and football games.
Born in Indianapolis, IN Det. Collin King was raised in the small town of Crestwood, KY, pop. 2,373. Law enforcement is genetic to King as both his mother and father were police. He began his career as a lawman in 2002 and joined the Louisville Homicide Dept. in 2009. The rookie homicide detective has a natural love for putting the bad guys in jail, that and the camaraderie that comes with the police force. In addition to his responsibilities to the PD, King is also currently a First Sgt. in the KY Air National Guard and has served the guard for the past ten years.
Det. King defines a good homicide detective as one who is willing to put 100% effort to solve their cases and help his/her colleagues with their investigations. Solving a case requires thinking outside the box and an ability to talk to people and make them feel comfortable. The way my children look up to Daddy when I solve a case, makes Det. King proud to be a police officer.
To help him cope with the intensity of homicide, Det. King hugs his children a lot more. In addition, he turns to his faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. His family spends a lot of time attending church functions and the detective talks to his parents and girlfriend about the things he sees at work.
Outside of work, Collin has a variety of interests, including working out, fishing, camping, running, watching the Colts play and going to church. He is divorced with two children.
Det. Jon Lesher is originally from a small town in eastern Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the Louisville MPD in 2001, he served in the US Army and Jefferson Co. Dept. of Corrections. Before becoming a homicide detective in 2009, the detective was a 6th District patrol officer and a FLEX detective.
Joining the PD was the fulfillment of a childhood dream. As a young child, there was a police officer that patrolled his neighborhood and the way he conducted himself within the community made a life-long impression on Det. Lesher that eventually led to his career in law enforcement.
There are many factors that help create a good homicide detective, including common sense, a sense of humor, good communication skills, motivation, an understanding family, team work and the ability to work long hours. Bringing justice and closure to the family of a homicide victim makes Det. Lesher proud to be a homicide investigator. Working with a great group of detectives that help him accomplish this, only increases his pride in his work.
To prevent his job from wearing on him too much, the detective prefers to keep his work life separate from his personal life. Keep work at work and rely on family and friends to help you through the tough times. You also have to have a good sense of humor. Det. Lesher likes to spend his time hunting, fishing and being with his wife, Debbie and their two children, Spencer and Allie.
Before joining the Louisville Police Department ten years ago, Det. Leigh Maroni was a social worker for Child Protective Services. It was there, while sharing an office with police officers, that Maroni developed an interest in law enforcement. "I was drawn to the excitement of their job," she says and soon applied to the LPD.
Maroni worked in fraud and crimes against children before joining homicide five years ago. "A good homicide detective checks their ego at the door, works well in a team and is open to other people's ideas and suggestions," she says.
"Being around homicide makes you appreciate life more," says Maroni. "The job requires a lot of time away from home. It's important to make time with family, quality time."
Maroni is married. On her time off, she enjoys going to the gym, the ballet and the theater.
Det. Chris Middleton has been with the Louisville Police Department for eight years and has spent the past three in homicide. He previously worked in district level narcotics.
Middleton was drawn to law enforcement because he had a desire to help his community. "As for homicide," Middleton says, "I see it as the ultimate crime." He goes on to say that working homicide requires detectives to give 110% for every case. "I enjoy the investigations," he says, "and my kids think it's cool."
Middleton is married with three children. He credits his wife with helping him cope with the difficulties of his job. In their spare time, Middleton and his wife raise quarter horses.
Det. Thomas Miles joined the Louisville PD in 1992; it was the fulfillment of his childhood dream. The only thing he ever wanted to be in life was a police officer. Before joining Homicide in 2009, Det. Miles worked the Patrol Div. and was a detective for the District and Crimes Against Seniors units.
Det. Miles feels that a good detective can look at the pieces of the crime and put them together to figure out what really happened. Furthermore, a good detective is also a good listener and willing to accept advice from coworkers. He is proud to be a police officer, especially when he is able to work cases that lead to convictions. These convictions provide victims and their families with closure.
Det. Miles enjoys being in the outdoors when he's not working a case. He especially likes hunting, fishing and four-wheeling. The detective is married with one stepdaughter.
Det. Carl Payne joined the Louisville Police Department because he wanted the "opportunity to do something different everyday."
He was a beat officer in the 2nd Division and later worked in flex narcotics before joining homicide in October of 2008. "The position can be very rewarding at times," he says, but admits that it has potential for a high level of stress.
In his spare time, Payne enjoys hunting, fishing and hiking.
A twenty-year veteran of the Louisville PD, Det. Mike Perry joined the homicide team in 2009. He previously worked as a detective for the Robbery and District Units and was a Patrol and SWAT officer.
The satisfaction of a successful investigation and prosecution of someone who commits murder drew Det. Perry to the Homicide department. A good homicide detective requires three qualities, compassion, dedication and persistence. Homicide is the ultimate crime that a person could commit and thus working a homicide case is the ultimate challenge, requiring you to be on top of your game.
Det. Perry does think that being around death on a regular basis will wear on you and that you have to have a strong foundation of family and friends to be with during your off-time.
Fifteen-year Louisville Police Department veteran Det. Keith Roberts was fascinated with law enforcement at a young age. He remembers being inspired by police officers riding their motorcycles through his neighborhood, as well old cop shows on television.
Before signing up for homicide nine years ago, Roberts worked patrol and street crimes. He believes patience is the key to a good homicide detective and his proudest moments have come from the appreciation he's been shown by the victim's families.
Roberts enjoys golfing, traveling and spending time with his wife, three daughters and two dogs.
Det. Holly Rogers is a native to Louisville. She Joined the PD in 1997 and recently joined homicide in 2009. Det. Rogers' desire to help people and make a difference in the community drew her to a career in law enforcement.
Someone who will work hard to solve the case and follow every lead helps make a good homicide detective. Det. Rogers is most proud of being a police officer when she follows a case from beginning to end and gets a conviction. Being new to Homicide, she has not found the job to be wearing. However she knows from talking to veteran detectives that it can be stressful. When work in general starts to wear, I like to take a few days and relax, spend time with family and friends.
When not working hard to solve a case, Det. Rogers likes to spend time with friends and family, seeing a good movie, playing cards or just relaxing at home. I also like to watch Kentucky basketball, either in person or on TV.
Before joining the Louisville Police Department ten years ago, Det. Scott Russ spent two years as a patrol officer with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. "My first two years as a police officer in Kansas City, Missouri were great," he says. "I learned how to police from some great, highly trained police officers."
"I started out in EMS with the City of Louisville in 1991, but felt I could do more for my city as a police officer," Russ says. He credits an uncle in the FBI as an inspiration to pursue a career in law enforcement. Russ worked in crimes against children before coming to homicide two years ago. "Homicide takes plenty of patience, especially when interviewing suspects."
"The long hours can wear you down, but I have a great wife I can talk to. She is very understanding." He adds, "And as long as I can watch Louisville basketball it will relax me, especially if they are winning."
Det. Michael Smith was inspired by his father, a retired police officer, to join the force. Smith started his law-enforcement career in the San Bernardino, CA. Sheriff's Department in 1988. Smith also spent some time in the U.S. Air force before joining the Louisville Police Department in 1990.
Smith is married and has five children and spends most of his free time with his family or riding his motorcycle.
Before joining the Louisville Police Department eight years ago, Det. Roy Stalvey served twenty-one years of active duty in the United States Air Force as a special agent. "My military career with the USAF made the transition to law enforcement a natural fit," Stalvey says.
Stalvey has spent the past two and a half years in the homicide department. "When one of my police commanders told me he thought I would make a good homicide detective, I decided to take the challenge," he says. "I am not bothered by death. I am used to death and understand it will happen no matter what my feelings are." He adds, "I separate myself emotionally from my cases as much as possible and leave them at the office sometimes."
Stalvey describes working with his fellow officers as an honor. "They sacrifice much of their personal lives and standard of living pursuing these careers," he says. "These are some of the most dedicated people I know."
Stalvey and his wife have been married for thirty years. They have two children, a grandson, and a granddaughter on the way. He enjoys weight lifting, running, yard work and watching television.
"I wanted a career where I could make a difference in my community," says Det. Kevin M. Trees. Born and raised in Pensacola, Florida, Trees is a ten-year veteran of the Louisville Police Department and has been with homicide for two years.
He admits the job can be difficult. "There are certain sites in the city where people were killed for sport, that I find myself shaking my head in disgust when I pass." But despite the drawbacks, Trees finds the work highly rewarding and is particularly proud when citizens he's assisted offer a simple "thank you."
Trees is married with two children and has several hobbies. He coaches his son in football, lifts weights, and composes, writes and produces his own music in a home studio. He also loves to watch football.
Born and raised in Olive Hill, Kentucky, Det. Brenda Wescott worked for UPS Airline Security before joining the Louisville Police Department eight and a half years ago.
Wescott has been with homicide for three years. "I think the best detectives in homicide have compassion for their victims and families," she says. Wescott is an alumnus of the University of Louisville where she earned a degree in Psychology and a minor in Communications, both of which have come in handy during her career in homicide. "Everyone sees the job we do on the scene, but they don't see the work continuing through the investigation. You help the family through the court process."
Wescott understands that solving cases require a team effort and sings high praises for her fellow officers. "The unit is a truly talented and hard-working group of detectives. We each have different strengths and skills to use on our cases. I think this mix of abilities is what makes our unit strong and unique. We're a great team." But, she adds, "I don't think there is any way to prepare for the emotional toll this job can take on you."
In her spare time, Wescott is an avid traveler. She also loves to cook, fish, read and ride her motorcycle. She is married to a fellow police officer and has a stepdaughter. Wescott is very close with her mother and proudly says, "She's my hero!"