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Roger Ramsey: Culinary cop

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By Becca Owsley

Whether he’s donning a badge or an apron, 47-year-old Roger Ramsey’s work is about serving others.

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Ramsey is an officer with Elizabethtown Police Department and runs a catering business.

He wanted to be a police officer since he was a boy growing up in Rineyville.

At age 6 he saw a car crash near his house. Two state troopers worked the wreck.

“They had great big pretty cars and nice uniforms and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s what I want to do,’” he said.

After four years serving in the U.S. Air Force, Ramsey joined the Elizabethtown Police Department in 1992. He’s served the past seven years as the school resource officer at Central Hardin High School.

He had to break some ice and transition into the high school environment.

“A kid’s thought process is biologically different from adults,” he said.

Once he figured that out and realized talking to teens is often like speaking a different language, he said, he began to communicate with them better.

“It took some getting used to and some growing pains but I wouldn’t trade those kids for the world,” he said.

The job is rewarding because at the high school age, there’s still hope to help them, he said.

Everyone starts a police job thinking they’ll make a difference in the world but you see the same people with the same problems and you get a burned out, feeling that you aren’t doing any good for anyone, he said.

“With kids you don’t do that,” he said. “You can see when you make a difference.”

Deputy Chief Troy Dye of the EPD said Ramsey is the department’s first school resource officer. To make the position work they knew they would need the right person for the job.

“Roger was a perfect fit,” Dye said.

Ramsey built great relationships with school staff and students, Dye said.

He does that by not just being Officer Ramsey, but by being someone students can look to for guidance and someone they can confide in to give the police information they may need, he said.

As much as Ramsey enjoys his police work, he knew there was something else he wanted to try.

The youngest of five boys, he had to take his turn like the rest keeping house, ironing and learning to cook. He took the cooking part a little more seriously than the others, he said.

A few years ago, his wife, Carla, encouraged him to go to culinary school. At first, his work shifts got in the way but after being assigned to Central Hardin, his evenings and weekends freed up to take classes.

In 2010 he graduated from Sullivan University with a culinary arts degree.

When the school administration found out about his classes everyone wanted to taste his homework. He would bring in food for the teachers to sample.

“I got to play with knives, make a little something and they got to eat. Everyone was happy,” he said.

Changing with his mood, Ramsey likes to cook American food, especially southern, but also likes seafood, Cajun, Creole and southwestern flavors. He likes to cook Caribbean and Italian food, too.

“I don’t have a certain favorite, I just like food,” he said. “You don’t build a physique like this without knowing something about food.”

He prefers cooking to baking. Baking is a science with specific chemical reactions and you have to follow the recipe or formula, he said.

With cooking, he can bet more creative. He often gets ideas from recipes and tweaks them a little. But when he does that Ramsey has to remember to write down what he did in case a client wants him to recreate it some day.

Ramsey owns a catering business called ALSSONS, so named because he is the youngest of Al’s sons.

So far, most of his clientele have been from the police department or school.

He often volunteers cook for the EPD, Dye said.

Most recently, Dye said, Ramsey entered the BBQ, Blues and Bikes cook-off in Elizabethtown and won.

“We’re very pleased with Roger’s cooking around here,” Dye said. “He seems to enjoy it. I know we do.”

When he retires from police work he wants to teach culinary classes and still have a connection to students.

He’s gotten used to students and enjoys interacting with them.

“It makes an old man feel good,” he said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Cooking up facts about Roger Ramsey

  • Family: Wife, Carla, and a daughter, two sons, two stepsons and two grandchildren. He is the youngest of five boys and has an identical twin brother.
  • Music: Ramsey enjoys everything from classical to bluegrass but no rap or heavy metal.
  • Books: John Steinbeck stories
  • Movies: “Hotel Transylvania”
  • TV: “Big Bang Theory”
  • Hobby: Eating
  • Pets: A shepherd named Ty and a house cat named Gracie

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