Captain, Montgomery County (MD) Police Department
There is a joke in my family that I was “destined” to be a police officer. Not just because it ran in the family blood as my father and both his brothers had careers in law enforcement, but my mother was transported “code 3” in my dad’s police car to the hospital while in labor with me.
Twenty-one years later, September 13, 2001, I was sworn as a police officer within the same county my family had served. With graduation just being two days after the attacks of 9/11, my young eyes opened to the new threats facing our community.
During my years as a patrol officer, I enjoyed conducting traffic enforcement. Every officer has their part of police work that they enjoy more than another. My thought was traffic safety affects the lives of everyone from infant to senior. Collision investigation inspired me to apply to be a Detective with the Collision Reconstruction Unit which investigates collisions involving death or life-threatening injuries – a rewarding position by serving grieving families after their love ones unexpectedly died. No one “plans” to die from a motor vehicle collision.
Another rewarding position was being a tactical medic for our SWAT team. While 99% of the incidents did not require the use of the medic, being available for the team members and the community was rewarding.
I have been fortunate to be promoted with my agency to the rank of Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. I am often asked “what was your favorite period as a police officer?” I enjoyed being a patrol Sergeant as I was still answering the calls for service, providing mentoring for new officers, being the decision maker, and leading a team.
One lesson I would pass on to anyone is to create a personal mission statement to guide you in life. Every organization, business, or group, has a mission statement to state the organization’s purpose, goal, values, and future vison. As a person, take a moment to write out what your mission is in your life. When you are having those bad days, take out that mission statement and use it to guide you to overcome.
My Mission Statement
To live a life of service to others through honesty, integrity, and fairness.
Eventually after I move on from law enforcement, I want to be remembered as having a positive impact on “someone.” I may never know who the person is or how I affected their life but I will be satisfied knowing that in 25+ years of service I made a difference.