It’s Not a Career, But a Calling

Jon Hil

Jon Hil
First Sergeant, Maryland State Police

A career in law enforcement cannot be classified as a job, but as a calling; for the motivations necessary to be successful in the profession must come from within. If a person pursues the field to gain power, authority, just to carry a gun, or any other material factor, they will surely fail. The motivation to serve as a law enforcement officer must be rooted in one’s desire to serve others, to advocate for the most vulnerable of our society, and as our Superintendent William Pollozzi says, “do the right thing for the right reason.” It is a calling fraught with times of tragedy, tough decisions, much regret, criticism, and many thankless moments. One that can take a toll on an officer, their family and friends physically, emotionally, and psychologically. But at the same time, it is a calling of great reward. To know you made a positive difference in the life of a someone or in the community you serve is invaluable and what should drive each of us in our career path.

As I neared the end of my high school career, I started to examine my own situation and realized that I was fortunate to be set up for success by many people that had taken the time to invest in me. My parents, teachers, coaches, extended family, friends, neighbors, and our church community had all played a role in setting me on a positive path. It was my position on this path that set me up for vast opportunity for success in whatever my future endeavors would be. It was at that moment that I realized that a debt was owed to all of those who invested in me that I could never afford to repay. I’m a firm believer in the fact that each of us is entrusted with talents and we have a great responsibility to use those talents in a way to serve others and to better the world we live in. For me, my talents were rooted in athletics. Strength, coordination, size, and athletic ability were a gift entrusted to me, and while they were not enough to carry me into a professional career as an athlete, they did lend themselves to a calling in law enforcement. Coupling my talents with an intrinsic desire to serve those that served me, a career in law enforcement, I believe, was my true calling.

"The Investors"- With a group of my Liberty High School teachers, some 20 years after I graduated.
“The Investors”- With a group of my Liberty High School teachers, some 20 years after I graduated.

Throughout my career I have worked to make the community I serve a better place and hope that every person in which I have interacted has been left in a position that is better than where they were before I met them. This should be one of the goals of every law enforcement officer, regardless of department, rank, unit, or length of service. Our profession is one of honor, courage, and integrity. These are not just words, but a necessary way of life for those who are truly called to this profession and that make the positive difference in the communities they serve.

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