Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

Years ago, I gave up my lieutenant bars in the jail to go to patrol. I loved it! About six years in, I get called into the Sheriff’s Office. The then Sheriff told me about a plan he had to resolve some problems in the jail. The jail had gotten less than stellar marks for the last couple of visits from TCJS. He had been approved by the Commissioners for a new lieutenant spot and he wanted me to take it.

I told him I was deeply appreciative of his confidence in me but went on to tell him how much I enjoyed what I was doing. Serving search warrants was always exciting. Patrol officers really don’t come into their own until after about five years. He told me he really thought I was the person to do what he needed done. I declined again and saw something I only saw twice in my career there. The Sheriff tiled his head down and looked over the top of his glasses (the second time has its own story for another time). He said, “Let me put it another way, do you ever want to have rank in this agency again?”

My reply? “It sounds like a wonderful opportunity sir!” And back off to the jail I went.

He explained I would remain on the Special Response Unit (our tactical team). I would get to keep my take home car and when I wasn’t tied up with jail issues, I could go out on patrol. The issue he wanted resolved was fixed in a couple of months. It turned into one of the best times I ever had at a job. It led to me being the PIO (fun), responsible for two small sections in the Sheriff’s Office, and pretty much free to find things to fix and to do what I wanted.

Looking back, it turned out that what I least wanted at the time was a tremendous blessing to me and to my career.

I was thinking about this time the other day. I couldn’t help wonder how many times I may have missed out on something better because I was happy where I was.

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By Derek

Father of three. Married to my best friend. Follower of Jesus Christ. Love the outdoors.

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