Why would someone want to become a cop? A new recruit shares his perspective

Posted at 5:06 PM, Nov 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-30 22:01:59-05

With all the police related incidents we've seen over the past couple of years people across the country have strong feelings about the way community policing is being carried out.

It got News 5 thinking about why someone would even want to sign up for the job? We sat down with a new recruit today, to get his perspective.

“Things right now are difficult, but they're always going to be difficult. Everyone comes, you tell them, 'Oh you're going to the police academy, oh why would you want to be a cop right now, doesn't bother me. If that's a problem, then you don't need to be here," expressed Thomas Vidal-Engaurran, when we asked him about why he’s entering the force in a time like this.

“This job means somethings to me, it's not about the money, it's not about the job, if I had to pick a job that was tailor-made for me, I believe it would be a police officer," he said.

Four months into his training at the Polaris Police Academy in Berea, and he is moving full speed ahead.

“We've gone through a lot of the book stuff, and now we're starting to get more into the enhanced stuff, more defensive tactics and firearms," he explained.

After years in the military, and a long resume of career choices, the new recruit in his mid-thirties, knew it was time to follow his childhood dream.

“I've just never been able to let go of law-enforcement.”

Married with three kids, he told us it's his passion that carries him through, even when he's pushed to the limit.

“I work 12 hours a day, every single day, and then I come here,” Vidal-Engaurran explained. “My wife and three kids... I don't get to see them all the time….{but} if this is what you want to do, then this is my commitment."

Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, he said his eyes are wide open to the issues, and he looks forward to progress.

“I would like to see for community policing if you can interact with the public more...every neighborhood should see that."

A mindset, Lieutenant David J. Dillion from the Ohio State Highway Patrol said is growing among this new generation of recruits.

“People will heal, move forward, but I do know it's going to take good people to make that change."

Before we left, Vidal-Engaurran had one last thing to say to recruits and officers everywhere.

“There has to be an open dialogue if you don't have an open dialogue if you're not willing to change, or even talk about issues that need to change, what good are you doing?"

When he graduates in the spring, his dream would be to serve in Parma, his hometown, but if that doesn't happen, he told me he'd just be glad to be on the force anywhere, making a difference.