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Doyal has had an interesting 25 years

VALLEY — Anniversaries are an exciting time for most and Detective Stephen Doyal with the Valley Police Department couldn’t be happier to celebrate his most recent milestone. Earlier this month, Doyal celebrated his 25th year in law enforcement.

“It’s pretty exciting,” he said. “I have the option to retire, but don’t have any plans to do so.”

Doyal started in Valley in 1993 but left for Lanett in 2008.

“I thought the grass was greener, but it was artificial turf,” he said, noting he stayed in Lanett until 2015 before returning to Valley. “I’ve been here ever since.”

He got his start as a member of the Chambers County Sheriff’s Reserve in 1992. While there, Sid Lockhart – current Chambers County Sheriff – sponsored him while he made his way through the police academy. He was hired by Valley halfway through.

While discussing his early years, Doyal reminisced on his time in the beginning as a DUI enforcement officer.

“I was a ‘slick sleeve,’” he said, noting the uniform he wore had no rank patches – i.e. slick. “We had hiding spots where we waited for impaired drivers.”

Doyal added that he would get into chases with drivers, and heard similar stories from drivers often.

“Different people would act so similar with their excuses,” he said.

For the past three years Doyal has worked in the criminal investigation division in Valley.

“It’s a small group so we handle everything,” he said of the division. “It’s interesting and there is so much involved.”

He equated the job to being in a whodunit story come to life.“You have to put in the legwork and it can be challenging to figure out,” he said.

The one group Doyal hasn’t worked with in his tenure is the drug task force.

“They have super crazy hours and that would get in the way of the family,” he said.

The aforementioned family includes wife, Christin, and kids Lindsey and Lance, both of which are students at Valley High School.

“I’ve had a great career,” he said.

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