Former College Football Coach Builds Community Partnerships Between Homeless and Community, Improves Public Safety
Officer Darren Soucy, Street Crimes Unit, Rapid City Police Department, South Dakota
I have been fortunate to have two great careers, but so far, law enforcement has been the most fun. Growing up, I wanted to be a police officer, but I took a different path in college and became a college football coach. I enjoyed the work and the game, but after 14 years on the sidelines I was ready for a change.
My offensive line coach, a long-time police officer, encouraged me to apply for a position at the Rapid City Police Department. I was hesitant about starting an entirely new career, but it ended up being the right decision. I have been a patrol officer for four years, and it’s been a blast.
I helped kick off our department’s Street Crimes Unit, a specialized team dedicated to patrolling our downtown area. We work closely with the local homeless population and the community to build partnerships and improve public safety. Since we began, there has been a tangible difference in the safety of the area, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.
To become a police officer, you need a real desire to help people, investigate, and serve the community. Most departments require some education or prior training, and it’s also important to be healthy. From day-to-day activities to foot pursuits, you need to be physically fit to do the job well. With that in mind, it’s never too late to go after the career you really want. I love my job and my department, and I’m proud to be a police officer.
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