Members of the Ardmore Police Department are often recognized and honored for their hard work and dedication by the citizens of the community. Earlier this week, APD selected one of their own, Sgt. Larry Payne, as its Officer of the Year.
A nine-year veteran of the force, Sgt. Payne is currently assigned to the daytime patrol division and is also a member of the Ardmore SWAT Team.
In December, captains and lieutenants were asked to nominate a candidate based on criteria such as community service and heroic
actions. Once all of the nominations were in, the officers selected Sgt. Payne to be the officer who best exemplified all criteria.
A native of the area, Sgt. Payne went to school in Davis before moving with his family to Georgia where he graduated high school. After graduation he returned to southern Oklahoma before enlisting in the military.
Payne  served eight years in the U.S. Army and was on active duty in Germany, Iraq and Los Angeles before returning to Ardmore and joining the police department.
“I just like to be involved in that type of service,” Payne said. “I enjoyed the time I got to spend in the military, and I think it’s that type of personality that would attract someone to law enforcement.”
Payne said the best part of his job is being a part of such a supportive team.
“I like working with the guys that we have here,” Payne said. “Everyone gets along really well. We’re all on the same team, and it’s good to be able to come to work with guys who really want to be here.”
He said the most difficult part of his job is being unable to help in certain circumstances.
“The most difficult part is focusing only on what we’re able to control instead of getting frustrated with the bigger picture of things out of our control,” Payne said.
Sgt. Payne had a special message to his wife Carrie and his three children ages 15, 10 and nine.
“I would like to thank my wife and kids because it’s a sacrifice for them to live this lifestyle also,” Payne said. “They’ve been very supportive throughout my career.”