May 15th is not only National Peace Officers Memorial Day, but also the first day of National Police Week. While law enforcement across the nation has been under fire for the past several months, all of us here at Homes for Heroes® want to simply say, “thank you.” We also want to honor National Peace Officers Memorial Day and kickoff National Police Week with a bang. So, to do so we reached out to a few law enforcement agencies and simply asked, “Why do you do what it is that you do?”
Seems like a simple question with a simple answer, right? Well, we found that it is actually a pretty deep question. Not only that, but it also brought out answers that reminded all of us just how important these people who put their lives on the line daily are to society. Check out what drives law enforcement and why, even with all of the scrutiny, they continue to put on that uniform everyday.
Special Agent Julia Hunter of the FBI Minneapolis
“At the end of the day, why I do this job is simple. It is to help people out and make our communities and neighborhoods a better place to exist in. What I enjoy most about the job is connecting with people from all walks of life. I have found that it makes me much more grateful in my own life, even for the simple things. Often, when I come into someone’s life it would be considered the worst day of their life because they are facing federal charges. I have found that for many, it is a turning point for them that ultimately becomes a positive thing because that person was going down a bad path and needed to make a significant change. I try to point out their strengths and let them know that they do have viable options when they get out of custody. It gives me satisfaction to know that a person that was committing a serious crime is off of the streets but also that maybe that person will think about their future when they get out and maybe get an education or trade skills while in custody so that they can become a productive member of our society.”
Minneapolis Police Officer Keia Pettis
“My name is Keia Pettis and I am a Police Officer for the Minneapolis Police Department. I have been an Officer now for 10 years and enjoy every minute of it. I have had my eye set of becoming an Officer for many years, dating back to childhood, growing up in South Minneapolis. I saw the violent direction my community was heading in and I did not like it. So I thought what better way to help and give back to my community other than becoming a Police Officer. Not many people get a chance to have their dream job from childhood and actually achieve that goal.
“I now work in the exact same neighborhood I grew up in. I get to see family, friends, and smiling new faces that now live in the neighborhood. Sure there are tough days and violence but I remind myself WHY I chose this profession and keep focus on the positive impact I wish to make. So far so good!
“P.S. The other best thing about my job is the ‘Police Family’ that you develop aside from your biological family.”
Commander Troy Schoenberger of the Leadership & Organizational Development Division of the Minneapolis Police Department
“I wanted to briefly share why I do what I do.
“I am both interested and passionate about leadership. In my current role as Commander of the Minneapolis Police Departments Leadership & Organizational Development Division, I have an opportunity to develop the next generation of leadership for our police department. Knowing that I’m helping to build officers and their supervisors to be strong and confident leaders, gives me a great sense of satisfaction. Everyone, inside and outside of the department benefits when our police departments have strong leaders who care about the staff they lead and the public they serve.”
Sergeant Matt Wente of the Minneapolis Police Department
“My entry into Law Enforcement took a little longer than most; I waited until I was 34-years-old and in need of a career change. I had always enjoyed helping others; several friends suggested that I look into becoming a Police Officer. I took their advice; 22 years have passed and I have no regrets. Ultimately, I wanted to be a part of shaping the future, I wanted to provide a benefit to our society; I wanted to represent my family with honor and service for the good. I have always believed in the simplicity of the “Golden Rule”; I wanted an opportunity to support that ideal. Law Enforcement is an extremely honorable profession, full of people who simply care about what is “right and just” in America. I do this job for the satisfaction that my actions, on a daily basis, make Minneapolis, Minnesota and America a better and safer place. I do this job so that others, who may never know me, know I proudly stand for something worth protecting… Them.”
Lieutenant Tom Stiller of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Juvenile Diversion & Outreach
“I was raised in a household where we were taught that we had been blessed with much and we were expected to “give back” to society. I have done this by serving in the US Air Force (24- years) and 20+ years with the Minneapolis Police Department.
“I have raised my two sons with the same values. My oldest son is a sophomore in college and has just been accepted into the Army ROTC program. He will serve four-years in the US Army upon graduation from college. My younger son is already planning to follow the path of military service upon completion of college.”
Officer Melinda Olson of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (VCAT)
“Sometimes it’s tough for Officers to openly answer that question without just saying the over used and cliché ‘to help people.’
“My answer to the question is somewhere along those lines, but more specifically, I never envisioned myself as being anything except a public servant. I always wanted to be the one there to help when someone is in need and to keep those off the street that prey on the weak. I would find no personal satisfaction in any other career than law enforcement, as it gives me a purpose with every new day.”