As we cruise right into our last week at the academy, it is hard not to think about how incredible the past 22 weeks of my life have been. It has been a dream of mine to have a career in law enforcement. With that day hours away, I think back on the journey and remember just how special this experience has been.
I think the most important thing I can take away from my time spent preparing to be a deputy is just how powerful this career truly is. Day one brought us all together. Even though we came from different backgrounds, some from out of state (one even from another country), we all had at least one thing in common: we had no idea what to expect but were willing to meet any challenge head on, conquering whatever the academy could throw at us.
Day in and day out, we were offered a variety of opportunities to grow and become not only better people but upstanding members of the law enforcement community. Taking this journey with my brothers and sisters has taught me that we are truly united. From pulling through workouts to helping each other learn about the law, we are all one big family. To me, this feeling extends to fellow law enforcement officers throughout the country.
One essential take away from my time at the academy is how much the rest of society counts on us to be unwavering and steadfast. We are the ones who have been trusted to always make the best decision, never backing down from any challenge and always being ready to step up when a need arises. I think this kind of trust is unique to this profession. While we will always face criticism in one form or another, we are entrusted to put our personal beliefs aside, uphold the law, and actively seek to protect and support our community. I know from the teachings we’ve received during our time at the academy, each of us has the ability to remain strong and answer swiftly and justly when called upon.
From the very first moment I accepted the offer from the recruiting coordinator, I have been extremely honored and grateful for the opportunity to learn at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Lakewood Police Department Combined Regional Academy. Since that initial phone call I’ve learned to be grateful for so many things. I am grateful for all of the amazing volunteers, instructors, and academy staff. If it were not for them and their tireless efforts, the academy wouldn’t have the success rate it does. I am grateful for all of the friendships I’ve developed along the way, most of which I know will last for a very long time. I am honored to be working for Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the only place I applied to and the place in which I knew I belonged from the very beginning. I am lastly grateful for the state of Colorado and being trusted to help keep it the amazing place to live that it is.
In the near future I look forward to beginning my career in Corrections. I want to spend time there so I can experience what it is like to deal with a part of the job that most people are unfamiliar with. After that, my goal is to move to patrol where, with any luck, I will be able to work in the Mountain Division (that fresh air is always calling my name). I am extremely excited to be working for Jefferson County and can’t wait to see where my career will go within the Sheriff’s Office.
As for advice for any future recruits, it is simple: enter each day with an open mind excited to learn and always have a positive attitude. Never let your confidence overtake your humility and be prepared to fail. It is from our failures we learn the most. One last thing--don’t be afraid to surprise yourself. The entire process is long, grueling, and extensive. Out of a job pool of literally thousands of applicants, the recruiting staff does an incredible job of picking the best. Have faith that you were chosen for a reason; a bunch of way smarter and more experienced people think you are perfect for the job.
And remember what the legendary Jackie Robinson said: “A life is not important except in the impact it has in other lives.”