Behind the Badge: This detective easily grapples with challenges of police work



 Detective Sean Sumey, Culpeper Police Department Photo courtesy of CPD

Detective Sean Sumey, Culpeper Police Department
Photo courtesy of CPD

The mild mannered, bespeckled Sean Sumey, concludes the interview by leaning back in his chair and confessing:  “I was a pro-wrestler.” His professional name:  “Devin Devine.”  His signature move:  “the pile-driver.”  And, according to Sumey, a friend with whom he wrestled with and against during his 12-year career from high school to three years ago, is now an announcer with WWE Monday Night Raw.

An interview that twisted and turned from his college work as a radio announcer, to being a mortuary science student, to his deep Christian faith ended with a finale as surprising as any pro wrestling match.

And, Detective Sumey is never one to leave an open door uncrossed.  “I don’t let limitations stop me,” he explains.  If there is a path before him, as it were, Sumey takes it.  He left home near Pittsburgh, PA to take on a job as a telemarketer in Laurel, MD leaving family and friends behind to try something new.  The money was good, according to Sumey, the experiences eye-opening, but after several years he knew it wasn’t a career.

“We were always taught to respect the police,” he said and so he followed a childhood interest and went to work for the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office in 2008.  Another door opened.  He worked the jail.  While in the control room he noticed a pretrial services worker.  Separated by glass and concrete he could not communicate with her – but he wanted to.  A year later he found himself in the same room with the same pretrial services worker and he asked her name.  Another door.  She later became his wife.

From 2010 to 2013 Sumey worked for the Wheeling, West Virginia Police Department after his stint in Loudon.  At the same time, while still wrestling, Sumey worked part time for the McMechen Police Department.

Culpeper called in 2013 and Sumey crossed another threshold to join the department.  In the three years he’s worked in Culpeper he has found a professional home that he “loves.”

Detective Sumey works all manner of criminal complaints but he spends most of his time working with Child Protective Services to include forensic interviews with children who are victims.  In addition he spends his efforts working investigations that involve internet crimes against children.

“I try to remember that when I am doing this (internet stings) I am standing in the shoes of an innocent child.  Hopefully I am taking the place of a real child who otherwise would become a victim.”

His efforts online have brought more than one child predator to justice.  He takes satisfaction in that.

Sumey’s varied background and interests mesh well with the Culpeper Police Department’s philosophy of community policing, according to Chief Chris Jenkins.

“Sean’s unique personality and many talents make him a great asset to our department,” Jenkins said.  Of particular note to Jenkins is Sumey’s “calm demeanor and professionalism.”

“It’s a perfect blend when dealing with complex issues,” Jenkins said.


Detective Sean Sumey

Age: 32

Married:  1 daughter

Hobbies:  family activities, reading, music.