Question: Would you encourage or discourage your children from becoming a police officer?

Answer: As my children were growing up I never encouraged them to go into law enforcement. I never worried about taking risks and being in a dangerous job myself, but I did not like the thought of one of them being a police officer and working each day in a job that has become so dangerous. My children grew up around police officers that felt like family and law enforcement agencies that felt like home. I was wearing a badge well before any of my children were born so throughout their childhood and into adulthood they have always seen the long hours and stress, as well as, observed first-hand the victims of crimes I worked with, along with criminals I have had to deal with and confront during my career. They have witnessed the good times of promotions and awards, as well as the bad times and sacrifices that have to be made. Sometimes growing up with all of this can make the child of a police officer want to stay as far away from a law enforcement career as possible, or it can encourage a child to grow up and pursue the only thing they have ever seen around them. One son did just that. We see children in every profession follow in their parent’s footsteps – from Firemen, Teachers, Lawyers, and Coal Miners to business owners in various professions. Police Officers are no different when it comes to children following in their parents footsteps. So although I would have liked him to possibly pursue something medical like his mother, I could not be more proud of what he has achieved as a Police Officer. Not only did he become a state certified law enforcement officer, but like I did for so many years, he is teaching the DARE Program in our schools and works each day to safeguard the children in our county. Who knows, perhaps he will have a son one day that will want to follow in his father’s footsteps as well.  

Please send your questions to:  Sheriff Brian Hieatt 140 School St. Suite 3, Tazewell Va. 24651 or email your questions to askthesheriff@hotmail.com.

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