BY HENRY PIERSON CURTIS
ORLANDO SENTINEL (TNS)
Police Officer Andrew Ricks ended his career in Sanford by taking the stage this month and singing “Let the Killing Begin” in full uniform while backed up by Vital Remains, a death metal band.
Ricks already had notified the city of his intention to resign, but Police Chief Cecil B. Smith relieved him of his duties the morning of Nov. 18, records show.
“An incident of this nature erodes the thin fibers of trust which already exist between the community and the police and it will not be tolerated within the Sanford Police Department,” Smith said in a statement.
Ricks was on duty when he sang Nov. 13 at the West End Trading Co., a venue on the shore of Lake Monroe in Sanford, according to police.
Someone in the audience sent a video of Ricks’ performance to the Police Department. A YouTube video shows him hanging out with the band and throwing a “rock-on” hand gesture to the audience before singing.
Vital Remains was founded in 1988 and tours the U.S. and Europe. The song Ricks introduced, “Let the Killing Begin” — a reference to the crucifixion of Christ — is the opening track on the band’s 2003 album, “Dechristianize.” Death metal is a type of music with lyrics sometimes focusing on violence, suffering and religion.
State records show Ricks worked first for the Apopka Police Department but resigned after six months in 2009. Hired by Sanford in January 2010, he later advanced to the position of police instructor.