From Coast to Coast: A Lateral Move with Officer Collins
Officer Collins is an East Coast native who earned his degree in accounting and finance. He spent the first half of his career as an auditor with a large public accounting firm and as a director and officer at a boutique financial services firm. During this tenure, he realized he wasn’t feeling fulfilled and wanted to do more to serve his community.
When did you first decide to become a police officer?
“I was working at a financial services firm when I realized that I wanted to do more. I wanted to help people and my nonprofit work wasn’t enough. I wanted to be a first responder in my community and apply my experience to criminal investigations.”
What was the next step in your journey?
“I applied and was accepted into the Chicago Police Department, but Portland, Oregon called with an offer I couldn’t refuse. After serving two and a half years, I wanted to remain in law enforcement but desired a geographical change. I started looking for a police department along the East Coast that shared the same modern approach to officer education and training as Portland. That is when I found the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).”
How was the interview and hiring process with CMPD during your lateral move?
“I started my inquiries with CMPD in November 2019. My first step was applying and gaining acceptance as an applicant to move forward in the hiring process. Once I was assigned a recruiting officer, I completed the entry level exam, physical fitness test and in-person interviews.”
Did the pandemic affect your hiring process?
“When the COVID-19 pandemic began, things slowed down significantly as everyone pivoted to complete the hiring process virtually. I was able to complete the psych evaluation and related testing through Zoom interviews and an online portal. The final part of my process was in-person interviews with senior leadership complete with social distancing and face mask guidelines. My first official day with CMPD was on September 28, 2020.”
How is being an officer with CMPD different from Portland PD?
“Here in Charlotte, I believe the police department’s persona is well-received by the public. There is appreciation for the officers, their service and the public understands the importance of the department.”
What is it about being a police officer that makes you know you’ve chosen the right profession?
“I know we are making an impact on people’s lives one call at a time. Right now, between emergency calls, I’m investigating a fraud case. This case allows me to use critical and investigative skills combined with my financial background to sift through the evidence looking for anomalies. I’m looking forward to assisting in the investigation and bringing some justice and peace of mind to the victim.”
How do you maintain a work/life balance? We know employee wellness is important to Chief Jennings and is part of his Core Four values.
“I love staying active and crave getting outside. I do a lot of trail running or what people would call ultra-distance running. I have participated in many ultra-distance races in the past and try to run at least one race a year.”
What would you say to someone who is considering a lateral move to CMPD?
“I’m glad I made the decision to relocate. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is a big organization, and we stay busy from call to call. The department demonstrates an ability to adapt and change as needed while maintaining access to cutting-edge technology and up-to-date officer training.”
Ready to join Officer Collins and the men and women of CMPD? Whether you’re new to law enforcement or have experience at another organization, expand your career at CMPD.