Exploring…. My career in Law Enforcement

Stand With Honor

Scott Vantrease
Assistant Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations Department

My interest in law enforcement started with a need to do something, something outside of my home and school. Enter, Tim Fagan, our High-School counselor/Deputy who introduced me to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD), Explorer Program in 1986. This was the beginning of what would become a career that will span 30 years. Thanks Tim!

From Explorer to Reserve Deputy to Part-time Deputy to Deputy at OCSD; to Police Officer and Crime Scene Investigator at the Ypsilanti Police Department; to Special Agent and Assistant Special Agent in Charge at HHS/OIG/OI and beyond to who knows what will happen in my future, I would have never guessed what would come out of my need to do “something.” I have been involved in honors I didn’t realize, such as being sworn in as an 18-year-old, unable to buy the ammunition for my service weapon. I have watched as career and lives ended, even feeling last breaths of others in my own hands. I have seen and felt the tears of parents and fellow officers and have shed too many of my own. I have been involved in events receiving national recognition, media attention, and notes/words of thanks from a single person who felt I made a difference. I have grown to say I have a career that I love. I bear its marks, physically and emotionally, and would never trade any of my experiences for anything as they made me who I am.

So many people have come into my life through my career, too many to thank by listing all of them here. For those who have helped me in becoming the law enforcement officer and person I am – thank you. Thank you for helping me understand what it means to be a good officer, a good friend, a good member of society. For those just coming into an evolving career path, I suggest patience, you cannot foresee where this will lead; understanding, that there is so much to learn from others around you; and awareness, that your reputation is all you have in this career – it is the most valuable piece of equipment you carry.

Search Stories by Last Name, Story Title, Keyword