Keith Sykes
Corsicana Police Department
Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas


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Corsicana Police Department Detective Keith Sykes had his first job at 14, serving hot dogs and popcorn at a drive-in movie theater here in town. Daily Sun photo/JOAN SHERROUSE

 

3/6/2002 JP, PCT. 1, DEMOCRATS: Sykes dedicated to justice system

By RAYMOND LINEX II/Daily Sun Staff

Dedication to his job has led Corsicana PD detective Keith Sykes to build up quite a log of leave time. He could take off tomorrow, and not have to come back to work until the third week of July 2003.

He has taken so few days off, he has accrued more than 3,000 hours of sick time, and he said he intends to take the same approach to the Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1 judgeship if elected. He is running for the Democratic nomination.

"I've got a strong work ethic," he said. "I show up every day at work and give it my all.

"At one time I received a certificate for 10 consecutive years of (using) no sick time."

Sykes is leaning on his 23 years of service to the CPD and believes his experience with the criminal elements of the job, in addition to working with civil cases on occasion, makes him a qualified candidate.

"This is something I've wanted to do for the past two or three years," Sykes said. "I think my 23 years in the criminal justice system will be a plus."

Sykes holds an advanced certificate from the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement for standards and education and is required by law to attend yearly continuing education classes. Sykes said he thoroughly understands the law, from the criminal aspect down to traffic laws, central to any JP operation.

"And I'm involved in civil cases on a daily basis," he said. "People come to the office and think they have a criminal complaint, but it might come under civil disputes, maybe over property or vehicles. I have to determine if its criminal or civil."

Sykes also has experience in dealing with death scenes. Another key JP duty is holding inquests at such scenes.

"I have experience in all kinds of death investigations," Sykes said. "I've worked all of them."

Sykes said he is also well-schooled in arrest and search warrants because he has been on other side, preparing documentation properly in order to have one issued.

As well, Sykes plans to continue his education in the profession and anticipates attending JP-required courses if elected.

"What I haven't done hands on and in the field, I'll work on in classes I'll be required to attend," he said.

"And, if elected, I will weigh each case on its own merits and make a fair and honest and unbiased judgment. Anyone that knows me and knows my background knows that I will carry professionalism into the office of the Justice of the Peace."

Raymond Linex II may be contacted via e-mail at rlinex@corsicanadailysun.com

All rights to this story reserved. Copyright Corsicana Daily Sun and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc,. Content  may not be archived, retransmitted, saved in a database, or used for any commercial purpose without the express written permission of the Corsicana Daily Sun and CNHI.


5/15/2004 FIRST JOB: Movie roles led to red Mustang, patrol cars


Corsicana Police Department Detective Keith Sykes had his first job at 14, serving hot dogs and popcorn at a drive-in movie theater here in town. Daily Sun photo/JOAN SHERROUSE



By JOAN SHERROUSE/Daily Sun Staff

This city employee got his first taste of long hours and hard work at 14 when he started working in the concession stand at the Navarro Drive-in Theater.

"I made a lot of hot dogs and a lot of popcorn," he said. "Then after we got through cleaning up the concession stand ... we had to clean the parking lot -- that was the worst part."

Summer nights were especially long because the double feature didn't start rolling until dusk -- nearly 9 p.m. on some nights -- then the crew of four or five boys had to search for trash with flashlights after all the cars were gone.



Yet, as those Friday and Saturday nights stretched into the wee hours of the next morning, this tuckered-out teenager refused to lose sight of his goal.

"I wanted a car," he said. "I worked and saved up all my money, then my dad paid half and I bought a 1967 red Ford Mustang."

It took two years to do it, but he never wavered, and by the time he got his driver's license at 16, Keith Sykes, now a detective with the Corsicana Police Department, had reached his first major goal.
In addition, he had landed his first promotion -- he went from picking up trash to learning how the projection booth worked.

Then, he spent the next four years working at Brookshire's Grocery when it was on West Second Avenue.

"I was a stocker, then I got to work in the produce department, and I did that all four years in high school," he said. "Then, in 1979, I had to make a choice whether to stay with Brookshire's or go into law enforcement."

The police academy won out, and before long, Sykes had the third and last job of his career -- he went to work as a patrolman for CPD, and will celebrate his 25th anniversary this year.

He said those early years left him with a great deal of respect for the value of work, however, and he credits his dad, Chief James Sykes of the Corsicana Emergency Corps, for setting him on the road to success.

"He was one reason I started working that young," he said. "He told me to find some type of little job that didn't interfere with school work, and save up my money so I could buy my first car."

With a firm goal in mind, the long nights were welcome because they meant a larger paycheck, and goofing off was too expensive.

"I wanted to be sure I had enough money saved up when I got my license at 16," Sykes said. "Sometimes I didn't get home until 3 or 4 in the morning on weekends, but that meant more hours -- the longer I was there, the more money I made."

Throughout his years in law enforcement, with 12 to 15 spent as a detective, his sense of dedication to duty has grown, and his goal has come full circle.

"One day, when I retire and I'm able to do it, I'm going to try and find a car like that first one," Sykes said. "Today, I'd give anything if I had held on to it."

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Joan Sherrouse may be contacted via e-mail at jsherrouse@corsicanadailysun.com.


All rights to this story reserved. Copyright Corsicana Daily Sun and Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc,. Content  may not be archived, retransmitted, saved in a database, or used for any commercial purpose without the express written permission of the Corsicana Daily Sun and CNHI.


6/4/2004 A QUARTER-CENTURY OVER: Sykes steps down from CPD for civilian position


 
Detective Keith Sykes is retiring after 25 years of service with the CPD, finishing as a detective investigator. Daily Sun photo/SCOTT HONEA





By STEPHEN FARRIS/Daily Sun Staff

After 25 years of service with the City of Corsicana, Detective Keith Sykes with the Corsicana Police Department will hang up his law enforcement career to begin a new career with Brookshire's Grocery Company as an Asset Protection Officer.

Sykes last official day with the department is Thursday, June 10, when CPD will host a retirement reception in his honor at 2 p.m. in the Government Center.

Sykes began his law enforcement career at the age of 18, when in July of 1979 he officially started as a dispatcher. Even before his employment with the department, police work had a major influence on him when his dad, a former CPD Officer, would let him tag along to the office.

"I grew up at Corsicana Police Department," Sykes said. "This was a hard decision to make."

In 1981, Sykes was old enough to become a patrol officer for the department, and later he was promoted to detective. Over the course of his career he has served as a Corporal over the patrol officers and as a Field Training Officer for new recruits.

Sykes was one of only two officers certified as an Intoxilyzer Operator back in the late 80s.
Corsicana Police Chief G.M. Cox said this is a good opportunity for Keith, and I fully and totally support his decision to leave.

"It's going to be very difficult to replace him," Cox said. "He's the best detective I've worked with."

Cox said the City of Corsicana and the community owe Sykes and his family a huge debt of gratitude.

"Most people don't understand the sacrifices officers make," Cox said. "Keith's had his fair share of crisis, but has always remained positive."

"Sykes is highly thought of by his peers, Cox said. Keith is very professional and has a very high conviction rate throughout his career.

Sykes is a quality individual and the chief couldn't be more proud of him.

"He's going to be missed here," Cox said.

Sykes supervisor, Crime Investigation Division Sgt. Becky Simpson, said they count on him a lot.

"He's a great asset," Simpson said. "He goes above and beyond the call of duty."

Simpson has worked with Sykes for 20 years and has been his supervisor for the last five.

CID Cpl. Mark Nanny said Sykes is definitely an asset to the department.

"He's a good investigator," Nanny said. "We hate to lose 20 plus years of experience," Nanny said.

Nanny said Sykes does a very thorough job ... that's just the type of person he is.

After his retirement reception, Sykes said he plans to take about a week and a half off in between the change to spend with his wife Lisa, and son Drew.

Sykes said it was an opportunity for him and his family he couldn't turn down after he was approached by Brookshire's about a month ago.

"The Director of Asset Protection Department from Tyler talked with me about a full-time opening," Sykes said. "Because of my background and location, they were interested in offering me the position."

This will be the second time Sykes will work for Brookshire's, who is scheduled to start June 21. He was employed with them for four years during high school.

"It's a great company," Sykes said. "I've had a great 25 years with CPD and worked with some great men and women. I feel I've done the best job I could with the department."

"I've always made it a point to try to make a difference for the citizens," Sykes said. "To see that justice has been served for the victims."



 

 


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