ST. MARYS — A member of a local police department is trading one uniform for another as part of his service to his country.
St. Marys Police Sgt. Ted Copeland completed his last day of work on Wednesday for the city as he is set to deploy to Afghanistan with his unit as part of the U.S. Army Reserves. Copeland, who has been with the police department since 1993, will be on his fourth deployment since becoming a police officer.
“The first time he was deployed, he went to Cuba and his unit was responsible for security at Guantanamo Bay,” St. Marys Police Chief Greg Foxhoven said. “The second time he went to Kansas and performed military police duties because their active duty were deployed overseas. The third time he was in Iraq, and now he’s going to Afghanistan.”
Copeland’s deployment will leave the department one officer short until he returns at the end of September in 2013. Foxhoven said he is prepared to handle the change.
“Being a man down, it does create some manpower issues,” Foxhoven said. “With this being Ted’s fourth time, we know what we have to do. It’s difficult but we make adjustments so that we make an honest attempt to not allow his absence to affect our level of services.”
Copeland’s overseas experience also benefits the department, Foxhoven said.
“It sheds new light on the way the military does things as opposed to the way we do some things — there also are some similarities,” Foxhoven said. “The cross-training can be beneficial.”