Captain David Robinson
Capt. David Robinson started his career in law enforcement as a correctional specialist in the Birmingham City Jail before joining the Birmingham Police Department 22 years ago.
Robinson lists compassion and dedication as the qualities that make a good homicide detective. "There is always sadness at death," he says. "After a time, the emotions are not as high."
Robinson comes from a large family--he has 4 sisters and 2 brothers. Robinson is married and has four children--two boys and two girls. Outside of the office he likes to spend time with his family, help around the house and work for his church.
Lieutenant Scott Praytor
"I knew so many people that went the other way," says 18-year Birmingham Police veteran Sgt. Scott Praytor, "that I wanted to be a good guy."
"It can wear on you," says Praytor of the job. "But I have outlets so I can let it go. I have a strong faith that helps me deal with it."
Despite technological advances that assist detectives in solving crimes, Praytor says that even technology cannot replace hard work. "It's not science that solves the cases," he says. "It's talking to people and a lot of leg work."
Praytor is married and has 4 daughters, 3 stepdaughters and a son. He likes to hunt and fish and occasionally drive racecars.
Sergeant Sam Noblitt
Sgt. Sam Noblitt joined the force to make a difference, and he's been making a difference for the past 15 years on the Birmingham PD.
Noblitt says the best part of the job is bringing the guilty to justice. And while he loves his job, he does admit that it can be challenging at times. "We have to make decisions under dangerous circumstances and in a hurry," Noblitt says.
Noblitt came to the homicide unit a year ago. "It's heartbreaking to see the agony in the faces of the victim's family," says Noblitt, "but it makes you more determined."
Sergeant Scott Thurmond
A recent addition to the homicide team, Sgt. Scott Thurmond joined the Birmingham Police Department more than 10 years ago. "The fact that there is no routine. The constant change. The action and excitement. The fast pace," is what Thurmond says drew him to law enforcement. Before joining homicide, Thurmond worked in the crimes against property unit.
Outside of work, Thurmond likes to spend time with his family as well as run and do yard work.
Detective Erika R. Anthony
Det. Erika Anthony has been on the Birmingham Police Department for over 14 years. Her initial reason for joining the force was to make a difference in the lives of abused children.
She joined homicide 4 years ago. "This job is very stressful and emotional," she says. "The cases become a part of you." And while she says death is something you get used to, "all homicides do affect you."
Anthony has 3 sisters and a brother and spends her time away from the office making arts and crafts.
Detective Warren Cotton
Det. Warren Cotton has spent the past seven years of his fourteen years with the Birmingham Police Department in homicide. He was drawn to the unique challenges of working homicide cases and says, "I wanted to bring justice to victims concerning the most dangerous crimes known to man."
He adds, "I think compassion and understanding makes a good detective; being able to put yourself in the victim's shoes." One of his most difficult, but memorable, cases was when he had to respond to the death of three of his fellow officers, killed in the line of duty.
Cotton met his wife in the military. They have been married for fourteen years and have two children, a boy and a girl.