Decision To Become A Police Officer Made While Shopping For A Car
It’s rare for a police officer to spend their entire career with one agency. But for those who know Ronald Daniels and his love for the Selma community you will understand why his 29 year career has been on the Selma Police force.
Daniels last day on the job is today (Thursday). He is retiring after 29 years of public service. But he doesn’t plan to sit idly at home. He’s already looking for something to keep him busy.
Daniels grew up in a home on Highway 70 in Selma that was situated where the Bojangle’s restaurant is now located. In the 5th grade his family moved to Wilson’s Mills. After graduating from Smithfield Selma High School in 1985, Daniels drove a truck for the next 5 years for Wilson Oil and Gas Company.
It was a trip in 1990 with this Dad to Brack Wilson Ford in Smithfield that changed his career and destiny.
Ronald and his father drove to the dealership to test drive a Ford Mustang GT. While in the car salesman’s office, Ronald and his father began discussing his career and his desire to attend Basic Law Enforcement Technology (BLET) at Johnston Community College. When Ronald’s Dad offered to pay his way through school if he didn’t buy the Mustang, Ronald jumped at the opportunity.
He didn’t buy the Mustang but did enroll in the next BLET program. Upon graduation he was immediately hired by Selma Police Chief Buckwheat Hicks.
Ronald began working in narcotics and later was promoted to a detective and community police officer. He was eventually promoted to the Captain of the Investigations Division, a position he has held until his last day on the job.
“I’m going to miss the guys I work with,” Captain Daniels said sitting in his office while cleaning out his desk. “There are a lot of great people in Selma. I’m going to miss the kids and talking to them and trying to lead them in the right direction.”
Daniels said there are many calls he will never forget. One particular call that stands out was a large cocaine bust in 1992, his first major investigation as a narcotics officer. The dealers he arrested were also wanted in New York.
After retirement, Ronald says he plans to relax and spend some extra time with his wife and two children before deciding on his next career path. “I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do. I have several options but either way I will be spending more time with my family.”
Aware of the dangers of being a police officer, Ronald said it’s something he tries not to dwell on. “God has looked after me. I’ve been blessed.”
Ronald also had a message for the citizens of Selma he has served since 1990. “I’ve enjoyed working for you,” he said while trying not to choke up. “If there is anything I can ever do to help you please give me a call.”
Ronald Daniels and his wife, Teresa, have two daughters, 20 year-old Summer, and 17 year-old Madelyn and live in the Wilson’s Mills community.
In his spare time Ronald enjoys hunting, fishing and golfing. He is a member of the Wilson’s Mills Fire Department, President of the Johnston County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 88, and Vice President of the SSS High School Booster Club.
“Captain Ronald Daniels has been a great asset for the Town of Selma for many years. Him deciding to retire is definitely bittersweet,” stated Selma Town Manager Elton Daniels. “I’m happy that he has reached retirement but at the same time I know how much institutional knowledge he is going to take with him. My hope is that he remains involved some way somehow. Captain Daniels, not only bleeds blue, he has poured his heart and soul into the community for decades. I wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Police Chief Billy Thomas said Captain Daniels will be missed. “He was the last person hired by former Chief Hicks. He has been loyal to the police department and Town of Selma during his 29 year career.”
“I admire his dedication to his church and his family,” Chief Thomas added. “He is truly a family man. He has been a dedicated and loyal public servant.”