From rapping to mariachi singing, America's LEOs have got talent
Whether it be for a little stress relief from the job or a life-long passion, officers are picking up the microphone for their chance at stardom
By Amanda Spence
Singing is a pastime much beloved by many, and cops are no exception. Whether it be for a little stress relief from the job or a life-long passion, some law enforcement officers have picked up the microphone for a chance at stardom. We’ve compiled a list of singing officers worth taking a listen to. Add them to your playlist and let us know who we missed off the list. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Deputy’s country song honors law enforcement
Chris Darlington is a deputy in Virginia who also moonlights as a country singer. His latest single, “Hold That Line,” was released in March and garnered over 50,000 streams in just three weeks. The song was written with law enforcement in mind. Darlington has recorded nine other singles while in Nashville, one of which hit #82 on Nashville’s Music Row chart.
2. LEO trades in his badge and gun to sing full-time
Frank Ray left law enforcement in 2017 to follow his life-long dream of becoming a singer, according to Yahoo.
“I was really immersed in both worlds, Mexican music and the heyday of '90s country at the time,” Ray said. “I fell in love with country music early on, and I started emulating some of my idols and just singing and performing every chance I got.”
Ray had the opportunity to open for Keith Urban, and he was spotted by a local promoter. Several of his songs hit the Texas country top 10. With the support of his wife, he made the leap to singer. He released a Latin-based country song called “Streetlights” just last year.
3. Buffalo’s “singing cops” are known for their heartwarming melodies
Officers Armonde “Moe” Badger and Michael Norwood Jr., who had a brief stint on season 33 of “The Amazing Race,” have been filmed singing different songs, such as Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” During the holiday season, they performed songs around New York as the “Caroling Cops,” and they’ve become quite famous.
Badger was actually a professional gospel singer before donning the badge. They’ve even appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” as well.
4. Two California LEOs turn heads with their musical talents
A pair of Oakdale cops became a force to be reckoned with when Police Chief Jerry Ramar heard Officer Jefferson Yega singing in a video he made. He suggested Yega, who’s been singing since age 11 in church, do a music video with Officer Jordan Tapia, a trained classical pianist.
Tapia has been playing the piano since he was five, and together with Yega, they filmed the country song called “Best Shot” by Jimmie Allen. The video also shows Tapia playing a piece he wrote called “Oakdale Boogie.”
5. Aspiring country singer turns to public safety
Henry Particelli wanted a career in music when he moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1994 to follow that dream. He put out a record under a different name, Rick Henry, in 2004. He went on to release a few more songs from there.
According to SooToday.com, Particelli needed other work to support himself. In 2008 a friend who was a police officer visited Particelli and told him about his experience as a cop. From there, Particelli became a cop for the Metro Nashville police department, switching back to his legal name.
He stopped playing music for almost ten years, but he still performed on occasion. Then he was requested to perform one of his songs, “We Are the Good Guys” for an officer’s funeral. It turns out the president of Sound Emporium Studios heard him sing and reached out to record his song.
He even wrote a song called “Your Name” after the death of George Floyd. He went on to record the song, and he was able to get Garth Brooks to listen to it. The song now has its own video featuring his friends, family, and even his wife.
6. Country singer Jeff Carson became a cop
Jeff Carson was a country singer and songwriter who died in March 2022 after a heart attack. He recorded songs like “Not On Your Love” and “The Car,” according to USA Today. During his career, he had 14 singles on the Billboard chart. But he hung up his microphone to become a cop. He released a single called “God Save the World” in 2019 that was previously recorded. He had been working in the studio to record an album to be released later in the year with collaborations with a number of other artists.
7. Deputy Hook’em raps to humanize the badge
Deputy Hook’em is a LEO in Southern California who is also known by his rapper alias Forensic. He’s also a podcast host and law enforcement advocate, according to his official website. He’s been a cop since 2012, and he’s been involved with social media since 2015 to “humanize the badge.” His mission is to bridge the large gap between LEOs and the community.
8. LEO duo takes 2nd on AGT Season 15
Austin Weinstock and Joseph Karczewski created the band Broken Roots, and they won second place on season 15 of America’s Got Talent, according to Trending American. They are both from Chicago, and Austin is a homicide detective while Joseph used to be in law enforcement before resigning to open up a music school for children. They were much beloved for their heartwarming performance in the hit series. Weinstock performs as Austin Edwards and Karczewski performs as Joey Kar.
9. NYPD cops take the stage as La Jara Band
A group of NYPD cops makes up La Jara Band, a Latin act. They perform in their uniforms, which makes for an interesting performance. Their motto is “Uniting the community through music,” and the idea for a Hispanic band within the police department started with Captain Alexandar Cedillo, who was a cadet at the time, according to the NYPD Hispanic Honor Society. He contacted other musicians within the NYPD for a performance for the Hispanic heritage event. They performed a song together, which is how the band came to be. Over time, the band grew, and although it dissolved in the 80s, it was recreated in 2013 and is now the “musical face of the Hispanic society,” according to its website.
10. A pastor, a cop and a gospel singer
Marcus Jordan is both a pastor and a law enforcement officer, according to Praise 102.5, and that isn’t all. He’s also a gospel singer as well. He lives in Houston where he obviously stays very busy with his many jobs. He’s released his new album, “Call On The Name,” and one of his new singles by the same name hit number three on iTunes Gospel/Christian chart.
11. Boston cop finds joy in music
Boston police officer Kim Tavares released an R&B album in 2021, and she climbed the charts in the United Kingdom and Canada, according to Boston.com. Her record “My Story” came out last year, and she’s gone viral before for a video of her and officer Stephen McNulty singing “God Bless America.”
Tavares, who goes by Kim Tavar on the stage, has been a police officer for 20 years, but she’s always found joy in music.
“I’ve always loved music,” she said. “I used to listen to a bunch of different albums back in the 70s. I also listened to the radio, and I’d listen to not just one type of music but I’d go up and down the dial of the radio, and when a song was playing, I’d sing that song…whether it was R&B soul, Motown, classic rock like the Eagles, country — I loved Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, that original country music. Once I would go up and down the dial, I’d start all over again.”
12. ’I’m a singer who happens to work as a cop’
Jesus Ramos, a Chicago mariachi singer is also a police officer. For ten years he’s served the Canadian Pacific Railroad Police Service, but he’s been singing since he was just a kid, according to ABC 7. He’s toured throughout the country and Mexico. He was even able to perform for the Northsiders on Cinco De Mayo at the World Series. He doesn’t plan to give up his career as a cop even if he makes it big as a singer.