Officer Inspired by Elementary School DARE Experience to Make a Difference for the Next Generation
Nathaniel Harris, Second Precinct Officer, Richmond Police Department, Richmond, Virginia
Growing up in East Richmond, Second Precinct Officer Nathaniel Harris was told to stay away from police officers. But as he got older, he ignored that advice, became more curious and followed in the footsteps of his role model grandfather and became a Sheriff’s Deputy, first for Richmond and then for Henrico. But he still wanted to learn more. So he joined the Richmond Police Department.
“I still remember the DARE officer coming to my Woodville Elementary School to talk to us about not doing drugs, giving us quizzes and handing out t-shirts,” he recalls. “It made a difference.”
The 30-year-old married father of three is now a midnight-shift officer on the city’s Southside and enjoys coming to work every day not just to make a difference for another generation, but also because of the friendly atmosphere at the precinct.
“We have a good group of people here at Second Precinct and in Sector 212,” Officer Harris says. “It’s like a big family here. Everyone gets along, helps everyone out and I really like that.”
As for how he handles working a shift while most people are sleeping and getting off just as the sun comes up, he admits it can be challenging sleep-wise, but that it just motivates him to proactive as soon as he hits the streets.
But the night work is helpful when it comes to taking care of his family with his wife, a hospice nurse, because it allows them to be there for their children and their newly adopted Yorkie, named Shadow.
When he’s not at work, he enjoys watching science fiction shows like Star Trek—the original he points out—and playing flag football and Madden video games. And even though he may be playing video games at home, he’s still strengthening his bond with his RPD colleagues because he’s playing with his fellow officers.
“Second Precinct and Richmond Police is just a great place to work,” he says, “And I’m just glad to be here.”
This story was reprinted with permission from the Richmond Police Department Facebook page.
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