In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to become disconnected from the heartbeat of your community. Yet, encouraging the growth of strong connections with local officials, leaders, and neighbors is not just a good idea—it’s vital for fostering a sense of belonging and building a resilient, supportive community. Here’s how you can get to know the people who shape your community: 

Let us get to know our Chief of Police for the City of Brent, Carl McMillan is a Graduate of Baldwin County High School Class of 1982. He is also a single father with 2 daughters. He has served in the National Guard for 28 years and is now the City of Brent Chief of Police and has been since September 1, 2023.  

I asked Chief McMillan if he would be willing to answer a few fun and relative questions and he nicely agreed so let’s see what he has to say: 

Share a quote or mantra that inspires you in your personal and professional life. Answer: People normally ask me daily how I am doing. I tell them I am living the dream. I tell them to ask me what the dream is: my dream is to be a better me tomorrow than I am today so if I wake up the next day I am living the dream. 

Share with us a funny or embarrassing moment from your career that taught you something valuable. Answer: Years ago, my brother was killed on December 25th of 1987. Years later I got into law enforcement and the detective that was over my brother’s case used my brother’s death situation in class.  

If you were given a chance to switch careers for a week, what would you choose to do? Answer: Go back to driving trucks which I had done for 10 years prior to getting into policing. 

If you were to organize a crime-fighting flash mob, what would be your go-to-dance move to intimidate the bad guys? Answer M.C. Hammer, “Can’t Touch This”. 

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work that help you unwind and recharge? Answer: I like to fish or just travel. 

How do you approach diversity and inclusion within your department, and what strategies do you employ to ensure fair treatment and opportunities for all officers and community members alike? Answer: We treat people like we want to be treated. 

If you could magically solve one problem in your community or industry overnight, what would it be? Answer: To improve relationships between the community and the police. 

Describe your leadership style using a movie title. Answer: “Major Payne” 

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be? Answer: If in it for the money this job’s not for you. 

Thank you, Chief McMillan, for your openness in sharing with us. It helps us to better understand you! 

Asking questions is much more than a simple task; it’s a gateway to deeper connections and a richer understanding of our communities. Through genuine curiosity and thoughtful inquiry, we open doors to a wealth of knowledge, perspectives, and stories that might otherwise remain hidden. Whether the questions are lighthearted or intense, they serve as bridges between individuals, encouraging empathy and strengthening the bonds within our communities. So, let’s continue to ask, to listen, and to learn, for in that place lies the true essence of community building.