City of Residence: League City
Current Title: Police officer
Place of Business: La Marque Police Department
Education: Associate's degree in Criminal Justice - San Jacinto College (Fall 2021). Mental Health Officer Certification - Texas Commission On Law Enforcement (2021). Peace Officer Certification - Alamo Area Regional Law Enforcement Academy (2017).
Family: I'm married to my wife, Jennifer, of 14 years, and this past August, we welcomed our daughter, Marigold (Goldie), into the world. We also have three cats: Marble, Bloo and Coconut.
Professional Responsibilities: Protect the lives and property of citizens and serve the community. This includes proactive policing measures to deter crime, responding to calls for services, investigating crimes, making arrests, and responding to all emergencies, including natural disasters.
In my role as a community police officer, I’m able to dedicate more time to an individual or a group of individuals who have a problem that needs resolution. Instead of the traditional reactive policing methods, I’m encouraged to think outside the box to address the root of the problem, not just the symptom. Additionally, I interact with citizens, neighborhood groups, homeowners associations, volunteers and others to involve them in keeping their communities safe. Simply put, when both the community and the police communicate, build trust and support each other, it helps to build a better future.
As a mental health officer, the decriminalization of those who suffer from mental illness, the removal of mental health stigmas, and raising awareness and support for fellow officers are of the upmost importance. Too often, mental health consumers are viewed as being violent, erratic or problematic. I enjoy learning and training to have a better understanding of mental illness and the challenges that law enforcement may face. Additionally, speaking to other police officers about mental health and ensuring they have a support system in place, help to save the lives of mental health consumers and officers alike.
Accomplishments/Honors: Selected to serve as a field training officer (2020-present). Hero Award - Cub Scouts Pack 244 (2020; they created an award that was so thoughtful and well done, I framed it and keep it over the fireplace). City of La Marque Distinguished Employee of the Year (2019). Selected to serve on the Community Oriented Policing Team (2017-present).
Community Involvement: That's the best part about being a police officer, everything we do revolves around serving the community. In addition to my professional responsibilities, I work with the La Marque Citizens' Police Academy alumni and volunteers at local and regional events and serve as an instructor in the Citizens' Police Academy. Now that I've completed my Mental Health Certification, I'm planning to partner with local mental health advocacy groups to provide additional resources and services to those in need.
Why did you go into your particular field?
I was enjoying a career in tech sales until someone broke into my house while my wife and I were at home. After the break-in, I felt that chasing purchase orders just wasn't important, and I wanted to do something more rewarding. I became interested in the law and knew that, as a police officer, I could help people through their worst moments and hopefully make a positive impact on their lives.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up, I wanted to be a fighter pilot. I loved movies like “Iron Eagle” and “Top Gun” and became obsessed with jets. I still enjoy going to air shows.
What was your first job?
My first job was at Electronic Boutique, which later became GameStop. I love video games, so it seemed like a natural fit.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I've received came from a quote by Melinda Gates in her book, “The Moment of Lift.” “People can be equal but still be isolated — not feeling the bonds that tie them together. Equality without connection misses the whole point.”
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite thing is when you actually get to help someone. Whether we arrest an abuser, stop a violent act, locate someone's stolen car or revive someone with CPR, every day is an opportunity to improve or save a life. We often interact with people who are in crisis or at a low point, and we have the opportunity to help them weather the storm. There is no greater feeling than knowing you helped.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started your career?
Looking back, I wish I better understood the dangers of stress and trauma, and the impact of mental health on law enforcement and the citizens we serve. I wish I encouraged more people to speak up and have honest, open conversations to break the taboo surrounding mental health.
Who do you consider to be your greatest mentor and why?
While several instructors and supervisors have left lasting impressions, my wife, Jennifer, is my greatest mentor. I've been married for 14 years and, since we've been together, she has had the greatest positive impact on my life. She always has pushed me to be a better person. She's made me a better communicator, more compassionate, more motivated, more mature minded and stronger than I ever could have become on my own. And she continues to do it every day.
When you’re not at work, what do you do to relax?
To relax, I still haven't lost my love for video games. In the rare moment I'm not with my wife or our 9-month-old, Marigold (Goldie), you can probably find me on the couch playing my PlayStation5. My wife and I also enjoy traveling anywhere with good food, good drinks, warm weather and a body of water.
What is something about you that most people don’t know?
In the early 2000s, I competitively played the video game “Soldier of Fortune 2.” At the time, my squad, "|CAFN|", was ranked No. 2 in the U.S. and No. 1 in international play. Also, I'm a huge fan of the hip hop duo Run the Jewels. Their song, "Stay Gold," is our daughter's theme song.
How do you hope to grow in your career?
While on patrol, I hope to rise to the rank of sergeant and lead my own shift. As a community policing officer, I want to continue to improve relations between law enforcement and the community and help to educate the public on exactly what we do, and why. Transparency and education is key to bridging the gap. As a mental health officer, the decriminalization of those who suffer from mental illness, the removal of mental health stigmas and raising awareness and support for fellow officers are of the upmost importance.
If you couldn’t do what you’re doing now, what would you be doing?
If I couldn't be a police officer, I would like to be a teacher. Whether I would instruct police cadets in the academy or teach children in school, I enjoy connecting with people and sharing knowledge.