In 1985, I joined the United States ARMY. I enlisted for eight years and was on active duty for five of those years.
In 1987, I was newly stationed on Ft. Myer in Arlington, Virginia to complete my last three years of military service. It was not until my last year of service when I began to consider what direction I wanted to focus my professional career.
In 1989, I applied to three different Law Enforcement Agencies here in Northern Virginia. One of the three agencies that I applied for was the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office, in Arlington Virginia. After thinking about where I would like to live, and how I felt about the three different agencies, I decided to choose the Arlington Sheriff’s Office and I have been here ever since.
My career here at the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office began in August 1989 on the midnight shift.
In 1990 I attended and graduated the Northern Virginia Training Academy. Once graduated, I was assigned back to the midnight shift where I worked until August 1991.
When you’re new to Corrections you are the “new guy” and this is where you learn how to fit in, who you trust and what kind of professional you plan to be. I did everything I could to show my supervisors that I was ready, willing, and able to take on assignments without complaint. I truly had the chance to shine and I took full advantage of it.
Shortly after beginning my career at the Sheriff’s Office, I was selected to be a part of a new team that dealt with “Critical Incident Stress Management” for law enforcement officers that experience traumatic incidents that need assistance with stress recovery. Today I am still a part of the CISM team, only now I am the proud Coordinator for the team.
Weeks later the Sheriff’s Office announced that it was developing a, “Transition Team” for the new jail being built. I knew I had to apply for this position in order to really learn about the philosophy of direct supervision. After days of wondering if I was selected, I received word that I would be a part of this team. I worked on many different projects on this team and really learned the meaning of team work and “group dynamics”. It was probably the most pivotal position change in my career that helped boost me into the “fast lane”. On this team you had to be a jack of all trades and a fast learner. This experience helped me become a field training officer and a state certified law enforcement instructor.
In April 1994 our new jail opened about a year after the projected date and it was a tremendous success.
Once that transition was made I was appointed by the Sheriff as one of the two Training Officers for the department. I spent my first year helping work on transitional projects for the opening of our new Justice Center Courthouse. Upon completion of the new Courthouse, I was able to settle into my new role as Training Assistant.
In 1995, I participated in my first promotional assessment for the position of Sergeant in which I was promoted to Sergeant in December 1995. This was another true opportunity for me to stretch out all the things that I have learned over the past several years and really take them out for a run.
In 2003, I was offered the opportunity to oversee the Training Section, as the Training Coordinator for the agency, which I was very happy to accept. It was a goal that I had set for myself as a milestone for several years.
Shortly afterward, in 2003 I was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and assigned back over to the detention facility as a Day Shift Commander. By this time I was very well trained and prepared to take on this role.
I actively continued my career as a shift commander until January 6, 2008. That afternoon I was promoted to the rank of Captain (Assistant Director of Corrections) to oversee the security operations of the Detention Facility. That promotion was and still is the most proud moment in my career. My first day as Captain started January 6th which is the same date as my birthday. Every year on my birthday I am reminded about how special that date felt to me. I am as passionate about my work as the day I started and I have every intention to continue my career here for a minimum of 30 years.
During this time of growth both personally and professionally, I have worked for and along side some of the greatest people I have ever known. Although every individual must work to earn a career as blessed as mine, there is no way you can do it alone. I would like to thank everyone in my life that has helped me to this point in my career and I hope to have another successful 10 years!