Beekeeper, author, father, police captain. These are not titles many would expect to see bundled together into one person, but these are all titles that define Patrick Long.
Long was born and raised in Yadkin County. He attended Yadkinville Elementary School and Forbush High School.
He began his career in law enforcement in 1989 when he took a job working third shift in communications with the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office.
“I needed a summer job for money in 1989. and there was an opening at the sheriff’s office in communications. I thought I could probably do that,” Long said.
From here Long started working his way up the ladder of law enforcement. The sheriff at the time asked him if he would be interested in attending rookie school, and Long agreed.
“I didn’t really give it a lot of thought to begin with, it was just another thing to do but once you start this kind of work it just gets in your blood and it’s hard to get out of it,” Long said.
In 1991 he went to Wilkes Community College, where he received his certification in basic law enforcement training. Because Long was only 20 at the time he graduated and couldn’t be a deputy until he was 21, he began working part time at the Yadkinville Police Department.
“When I turned 21 the sheriff swore me in, and I worked both places part time as a sworn officer,” Long said. “In 1992 the town received a grant for a drug officer so that opened another position, and I got hired full time.”
Long worked nighttime patrol for the Yadkinville Police Department until 1998 and then served as a lieutenant officer for three years before becoming a detective in the criminal investigation department where he stayed until 2010.
He was then promoted to captain, where he’s remained ever since.
“I think it’s a calling,” Long said. “Things were just lined up for me to go that way. It seems like everything was perfectly aligned for this to be my career. This is the only job that I can think of that I could get up everyday and enjoy coming to work. There’s rarely been a day that I’ve come in and not wanted to be here.”
Long is married to Brooke Long, his wife of 11 years. They have two daughters.
When Long isn’t spending time with his family or at his job he is either fishing, beekeeping or working on his first book.
“I just started beekeeping,” Long said. “My grandfather used to do it a long time ago, and I say I used to help him. But I basically just stood there and held things for him. It’s just one of those things that’s just dying out, and I took interest in it a couple of years ago.”
Long said after a year of reading and research he finally obtained a hive from a friend who is also a beekeeper. He proudly shows off his first jar of honey that he just finished the night before.
“I guess I’m doing it to carry on the tradition,” Long said. “I’m teaching my 9 year old and she’s taken some interest in it.”
Long is also an aspiring author and has been working on his first book for the past three years.
“My book is about old, historical crimes in the county,” Long said. “I’m focusing on four major crimes that happened. The cases that I’m focusing on are the sheriff’s murder in 1920, a rape from the 1950s, the Eugene Scales case and the Miles Wooten case.”
Long said that the idea to start the book came to him as he was researching the history of the police department.
“I was trying to find out when it was formed. I was trying to find out who all the chiefs were, and as I was going through all the old records. I just started finding odd things,” Long said. “As I was looking for one thing I would stumble upon another.”
Since beginning the book Long said that he has hit several speed bumps because he is restricted to researching old court records and newspaper archives because most of the people involved in the cases are deceased.
As a life-long resident of Yadkin County, Long says that he cannot think of another place that he would rather live.
“I love Yadkin County and Yadkinville,” Long said. “It’s small enough to not have the big city problems, but it’s big enough to where you don’t have to travel to get everything you want. I’ve had opportunities to go other places for jobs, but I always chose to stay here.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.