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Monday, September 25, 2023

Blue Bloods

Scott County True Value Hardware Guns Ammo

“Makin’ their way
The only way they know how
That’s just a little bit more
Than the law will allow.”

– Waylon Jennings

For many, the journey into law enforcement is a family tradition.  It’s not uncommon to find brothers, fathers and sons working alongside each other within the same agency.  My journey into law enforcement didn’t begin at home.  With the exception of my late grandfather, who was a corrections officer for a few years, there was no blue bloodline.  That would change with my cousin, Peyton, who grew up across the state line in Louisiana just a few miles from where I grew up.

I had the blessing of growing up in Arkansas, close to the Louisiana state line. It was the best of both worlds – I could enjoy Louisiana cooking, but still hate LSU. A win-win situation. Growing up, there was never any indication that either Peyton or I would venture into police work.  It was a miracle we didn’t become outlaws or professional wrestlers.  Weekends and family get-togethers at our Grandmother’s house were filled with reenactments of the previous Dukes of Hazzard episode or wrestling outside and trying to avoid getting caught by the watchful eyes of our parents.

Following our respective high school graduations, Peyton ventured into law enforcement almost immediately.  It would be twelve years before I took the leap to follow my dream of a career in law enforcement.  Peyton’s endeavors were just starting.

To say he stays busy is an understatement.  If it’s outdoor or civic-related, he’s in it.  The list of organizations he’s involved with reads like the guide portion of the Outdoor Channel.  National Wildlife Turkey Federation, The Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame, Pro staff at Cedar Hill game calls, and co-founder of Tiger Bend Outdoors, LLC just to name a few.  Combine this with his duties as a Sergeant with the Union Parish Sheriff’s office and you would think he wouldn’t have time for anything else.  You’d be wrong. Through the years we both became civic-minded.  For me, this was instilled by my father who served on the Huttig Volunteer Fire and ambulance service a short time and also served on the city council.  I would follow in his footsteps in all these capacities and continue it through my work currently in Hackett. Peyton would see his mom spend a career with the Linville School District working in the school cafeteria. What was being planted was the seeds for serving others through not only jobs but volunteerism.  Peyton also currently serves as a board member of the Union Parish Chamber of Commerce.

Our interests have mirrored each other beyond law enforcement and community service. While I write for Resident Press, Peyton frequently writes for tigerbendoutdoors.com as well as outdoor articles for various outlets in Union Parish.

Combined, we’ve accumulated over forty years in law enforcement.  We’ve raised children and spent our fair share of time in God’s great outdoors. We don’t get to see each other as much as we did when we were younger, but we remain in contact and always offer support to one another in our various ventures. Just the good ol’ boys. Never meaning no harm.

Peyton McKinnie, Union Parish Sheriff’s Office in the mid 1990′
Peyton McKinnie, and Duck Dynasty’s Mountain Man
(Left to Right) Darrell Spells, Grandmother Ivy Lee Spells, and Peyton McKinnie, 1992
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