A run in with the police chief is not something that many people want to experience. But in Yadkinville, as long as you’re on the right side of the law, you may find yourself talking about basketball and bluegrass.
Yadkinville Police Chief Tim Parks has been a lifelong resident of Yadkin County. He was raised in the Windsor Crossroad’s community and attended Starmount High School.
After graduating from high school, Parks went on to Mitchell Community College where he origninally intended to just take core classes so that he could transfer to a university. However, after spending time with a cousin who was a deputy sheriff, he set his sites on what would become his career.
“I started riding with him while I was going to Mitchell,” Parks said. “I would ride with him almost every night he worked; almost a whole shift and then go to school the next day and I fell in love with it and that’s pretty much what set my mind for sure on what I wanted to do.”
Before he graduated from Mitchell, Parks had landed himself a job working for the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office, where he remained for seven years before making a move to the Yadkinville Police Department in 1991.
“There’s less politics in the police department, but I enjoyed it over there in the sheriff’s office,” Parks said. “For me, this was the right decision.”
Parks spent seven years at the police department as a patrol officer, and in December 1998 he was appointed to police chief, a position he has served in for 13 years.
Over those 13 years Parks has experienced several unusual situations, but the one that sticks out most in his mind was when the department had to address an anthrax scare at a local business just after 9/11.
“We had an incident at one of the businesses here in town, and they got a package delivered off a truck. It was a white, powdery substance, and of course everybody panicked,” Parks said. “That incident sticks out in my mind because never would I have ever thought that I would have had to deal with something like that in law enforcement, especially here. It was the first time that I realized that things were never going to be the same because of what all had taken place.”
Parks says that his proudest moment as chief was the addition of the Cops Care Program. He says that this allowed the department to get to know its elderly citizens better and helped those citizens grow to trust the department better.
“That’s what it’s all about, because we’re here to serve them and I think it has made that relationship much better,” Parks said.
Parks is also a devoted family man. He is married to Angela Parks, and they have one son, Weston. Parks’ love for basketball continued to grow as his son grew up, and Parks discovered his love for coaching the sport. Weston graduated from high school last year, and Parks feared that he would have to give up one of his favorite past times.
“I’ve coached basketball pretty much all of my adult life because of my son,” Parks said. “When he graduated from high school I didn’t know what I was going to do…and then this opportunity came up to coach at Forbush High School. It’s been a blessing because it has helped me not feel so sad that I couldn’t go watch my son and his friends play anymore.”
Parks acts as the head junior varsity coach of the girl’s basketball team and as the assistant coach to Bradley Shore for the girl’s varsity team at Forbush High School.
When asked to name his favorite basketball team, Parks does not hesitate to answer with the Carolina Tarheels.
“Absolutely, without question Carolina is my favorite team,” Parks said. “When I was little I would get so upset when they lose, as a matter of fact I still do. I’ve always been a Carolina fan and no other team.”
Another subject that Parks is passionate about is music. He admits that bluegrass was not the music that he’s always loved and played but one that he learned to appreciate.
“When I was growing up that’s not the kind of music that I thought that I would play because for most people in their teens bluegrass is not what they think about,” Parks said. “I just put some bluegrass on one night at home and started playing with it, and I thought this is pretty much fun. The more I play it the more I love it, and now it’s my favorite.”
Parks has been a member of a bluegrass band since the 1990s. His first band, Southern Flavor, played together for five years and produced two albums.
Parks is now a member of Rockford Express as the bass player. The band is currently in the process of cutting its first album. The band members met at Ace’s where they all gathered and had jam sessions and listened to other bluegrass musicians. They all got along so well they decided to start a band.
Parks said that while he loves his band, his favorite time to play music is with his church band at Northwood Baptist Church.
“That’s actually my favorite part of playing music,” Parks said. “I love playing bluegrass but playing at my church and being able to play for the Lord is my most favorite part.”
Parks said he couldn’t perform his job without the staff that he has at the department.
“I’ve got these people here who go out and make these arrests and do these investigations and help all these people. If it weren’t for having good people the police department wouldn’t be nearly as good as I think it is now,” Parks said. “It’s not because of me; it’s because of them.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.