People of Etowah – Ray Cumby


Name: Ray Cumby

Where were you born and raised?

“I was born in Houston, Texas and moved to Gadsden when I was around seven years old.”

What is your occupation?

“I am in the state police and I work part time at Southside Police. I am also co-owner at 911 Solutions. We outfit emergency vehicles. I am an instructor at Jacksonville State Police Academy and the Alabama Fire College.”

What made you decide to work in your field?

“I like to help people, always have.”

Tell us about your family and pets.

“I have been married to my wife Beth for 33 years. We have two daughters, Brittany and Jessi. We have four grandchildren, Canaan, Landon, Avery and Grayson. My son-in-law Seth is in law enforcement as well. I’m close to my mother Judy and my sister Teresa. I have two police canines. Jimpy is a certified accelerant dog, and Rudy is my narcotics dog.”

Describe an average day in your life.

“Every day is different. I never know what I will be called out on: arsons, fire fatalities, explosives, murders, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t get to see the best of people at my job.”

What school or schools have you attended?

“I graduated from Gadsden High School, class of 1983. I graduated from Gadsden State, Shelton State and Jacksonville State.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I don’t have a lot of free time, but when I do, I like to cook, spend time with family, and watch Nascar and Alabama football, Roll Tide!”

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?

“My family and when I have played a part in getting a criminal off the streets, so they can’t hurt anyone else.”

Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?

“Personally, my family. Professionally, Wade Hill. He is an investigator with the Dekalb County District Attorney’s Office. He has really helped me in my law enforcement career.”

To what do you credit your success?

“Hard work.”

Are you involved in any service organizations?

“I’m not involved with any one service organization at this time, though I have been in the past. My family and I are very involved with autism education and research. That cause is very near and dear to my heart because of my oldest grandson Canaan.”

What is your favorite thing about this community?

“When something happens, such as the tornadoes we have had, everyone comes together and helps in every way they can.”

What would you like to see change in the community?

“I would like to see an end to the drug epidemic, for sure. I would also love to see more support and acceptance for special needs children and their families.”

What are three words that describe you?

“Hard-working, honorable and principled.”

What is something surprising that many do not know about you?

“I am ambidextrous. I write right-handed but shoot, golf and do pretty much everything else left-handed.”

What is your favorite quote?

“When the time to perform arrives, the time to prepare has passed.”

What is on your bucket list?

“I would love to have a cabin in the Smokies one day when I retire.”

What is your hidden talent?

“I’m pretty good at wood work. I am currently remodeling our basement into a man cave/Alabama room. I look forward to spending time with family and friends watching football on the big screen.”

If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?

“Clint Eastwood.”

What advice would you give yourself as a child?

“That I can be anything I want to be, as long as I work hard enough.”

To nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, e-mail or call 256-547-1049.

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