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Truman Boyle: ‘I’m not retiring, I’m changing gears

By Sherri Ellington After 31 years and seven months with the Georgia State Patrol ‘“ not counting his 27 months of annual leave and comp time built up over the years ‘“ Truman Boyle is not yet hanging up his patrol car keys. ‘I’m not retiring, I’m changing gears,’ Truman said. The alumni of Gordon Military College will become Georgia’s first auxiliary service trooper and, with his wife Denise, expand their private investigation firm that focuses on accidents for insurance companies and law firms. ’Denise and I got married two months before I got on with the state patrol,’ said Truman. ‘We’re coming up on 33 years together. She’s always been supportive and never said she wished I didn’t have the job.’ During those years, Denise (and their daughters Abby ‘“ who is married to firefighter Doug Matthews ‘“ and Sara) have learned enough ‘trooper speak’ to help out with Collision Consulting and Analysis. ’I had to do an hourlong presentation once and my family had to watch it six times,’ Truman recalled. ‘We took a break and I took Abby for a motorcycle ride. She leaned forward and said, ‘˜Daddy, I just saw some front tire skid marks.’ They all know the terms.’ The Boyles have run the newly incorporated CCA for several years, said Truman. ‘Denise is the president and CEO. She takes care of the bookwork. As a full time trooper I was restricted on what I could do. Now I have no restrictions as a retiree.’ Boyle will continue something he was doing for the state patrol in reconstructing crash sites. Instead of looking for a preponderance of evidence he will look for the percentage of fault a driver has in an accident. ’I’ll do private reconstruction on the civil case side. There are blame assignments insurance companies deal with,’ he said. ‘I spent so many years on the law enforcement side I don’t want anything to do with criminal cases unless I see somebody about to get a really raw deal.’ For the past six or seven years the Boyles have worked with Kevin Wangerin, a former judge who now is an attorney in Macon. CCA will not take any cases that involves the state patrol. After all, he will still be behind the wheel of a patrol car ‘“ and he has taught many of his fellow troopers how to reconstruct accident scenes. ’There’s still some blue and gray in me. After Jan. 1 I’ll get my car back. People will see me driving around from time to time,’ he said. ‘There’s a lady in South Georgia who will also become an auxiliary trooper; I’ll be the first male and she’ll be the first female.’ The law allowing retirees and others who left the GSP in good standing to become auxiliary troopers has been on the books since 1996. Auxiliary troopers serve at the discretion of the public service commissioner. ’I’ll be assigned to our training facility in Forsyth,’ Truman said. He has taught there often and will continue to instruct driving and crash investigation classes at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. He has already taught a couple of classes just for fun. ’I enjoy it so much the pay isn’t important,’ he said. ‘I’ve got to be in the middle of stuff.’ He has also been seen at local schools explaining how math is important for things troopers do, including crash reconstructions. ’I wasn’t good in math in school,’ he said. ‘I had to relearn everything I didn’t learn in high school. My career depended on it. We use fractions, trigonometry and all sorts of formulas ‘“ those things you think you’ll never need in real life. Now I can give them to you off the top of my head.’ ’I loved math but if you don’t use it you’ll lose it,’ said Denise, who added she enjoyed staying behind the scenes with CCA. She works as a dental assistant with Dr. Joel Fuller and in her spare time enjoys reading, cross stitch and crochet. ’I’m a crafty type of person,’ she said. Members of Barnesville First Baptist Church, the Boyles are HAM radio users ‘“ in the days before cell phones, Abby had to get a radio license before she could get a driver’s license so the family could keep in touch. Sara got a bye on that due to the new technology. Both daughters work in the health care field. ’I can string up my antenna and talk to people all over the world,’ Truman said. ‘I also like to fly radio controlled airplanes, take photos and do astronomy.’ The couple live in what used to be Denise’s father’s cow pasture, which is now populated with dogs, cats and goats ‘“ all of them pets.

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