Canton Police Department Public Information Officer
What is your main responsibility?
My primary responsibility is to communicate with the media and the community. I got into this career to make a difference and knew good communication and building relationships were the best ways to make an impact. I primarily focus on creating social media content, working with the community to resolve issues and facilitating programs like Citizens Police Academy and our Explorer program.
Describe a typical day on the job.
I make plans and goals for my day, but there is a good chance it will be interrupted. I thrive on the excitement and challenge of creating social media content one minute and, the next, standing beside police caution tape giving an interview with an Atlanta news station. It’s impossible to describe a typical day, as each day is different. I’m assigned a variety of tasks and have to be adaptable and ready for changes.
What is your professional background?
I got into policing later in life. I have worked for the Canton Police Department for 11 years. I started in May 2011. Before that, I was in sales most of my life. My training in sales has been a big help to me as a police officer. A lot of what a police officer does includes de-escalation and learning to overcome objections.
Why did you decide to go into law enforcement?
I feel it was kind of a calling. I was 39 years old when I went to the academy. I was in between jobs, doing some actual soul-searching for where God wanted me to be. I wrote down a list of my strengths and what I enjoyed. It read: meeting new people, discipline, positivity and willingness to lay down my life for another. Oh, and coffee. Seriously, it was on my list. Going into a coffee shop when I was in sales was my favorite part of my day.
How has your job impacted you?
It has made me a better person, as I appreciate life more and don’t take things for granted. I have been around tragedy and loss of life, which makes you realize how quickly it can change and the significant impact it has on a family. You learn to hug your loved ones and say I love you more.
What do you like most about your job?
I love talking with and meeting new people in the community. I am curious by nature. I like to learn about people and get to know them, which helps me to understand the community better. The police department has frequent community outreach events, which have allowed me to make a lot of friends.
Where did you live before moving to Georgia?
I grew up in Fairbury, Nebraska. It is a small town of about 4,000 people. It is home to some of the nicest people you will ever meet. The town and my great family helped shape the foundation of who I am today. My wife and I relocated to Georgia in 2000.
Do you have a favorite work story?
I have a lot of funny stories to tell. Most of them are way too long to share. One of my favorite parts of being a police officer is you are always seeing and hearing things you never thought possible. The job is very stressful, and a good, healthy sense of humor is an important attribute to have as a police officer.
Tell us about your family and hobbies.
I have been married to my wife Julie for 23 years. We have a son, who is 20, and a daughter, who is 19. I feel they have made the most significant impact on my life, making me a better person and police officer.
Several years ago, my wife and I started an organization, Sunrise Parent Retreat, to help parents who had a child battling drug addiction. We have gone through the fight and wanted to create a free weekend for parents to rest and refuel as they advocate for their child’s recovery from addiction.
I also do woodworking, beekeeping, leatherwork, play board games and lead a high school church group.