For Recruit Class 193, the journey to the badge is finally complete – but the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Academy graduates’ hard work has just begun.
As the newest members of CMPD, the 32 grads are now paired with patrol training officers across the department’s 13 divisions to learn the ins and outs of working in the field.
We recently caught up with two grads to hear how their time in the Academy prepared them for being law enforcement officers in the real world.
Officer Jeremiah Todman served as Recruit Class 193’s president. He’s now part of the University City Division. Before the Academy, he worked as a hotel manager in his hometown in upstate New York – a role that, despite being quite different, gave him a taste of leadership.
Officer Kellen Kuhn is posted in the Steele Creek Division. Before joining CMPD, he spent 11 years in the National Guard and seven years in leadership roles in the supply chain industry.
Tell us about the transition from the Academy to the field.
JT: My transition from the Academy to the field has been a very quick one. It happened on my very first night and it has not slowed down since. It was definitely unexpected; I was thrown right into the fire on night one. With University being the busiest division in the city, you can expect to leave third shift roll call and go call-to-call. I do love where I am at because my success as an officer is getting fast-tracked.
KK: Transition has been smooth. The Academy prepared us well and provided us with the resources and tools to be successful in the field.
What’s been the hardest part of the transition from the classroom to the real world?
JT: The hardest part for me is trying to stay on top of things. Going from call-to-call means things can pile up, but, thankfully, my patrol training officer (PTO) is always on top of everything and is the exact type of officer I want to be. I’m lucky to be able to just pick his brain and follow his lead.
How did you feel most prepared by the Academy for the real-life demands of policing?
KK: The scenario training in the Academy has proved to be very beneficial. The scenarios provided us with real-world situations that help us provide solutions for our community members.
Are you keeping in touch with others from your recruit class?
KK: Yes, there are three of us from Recruit Class 193 that came to Steele Creek.
JT: I try to keep in touch with everyone in the Academy. Our schedules are different and it gets hard. However, I do hang with them on my off days. Just recently, Young and I went to a Knights game. I work on the third shift with Beyer and we have similar schedules. Our PTOs like to keep us together and have us take leads on calls.
What does CMPD Serves mean to you, and how do you bring it to life on the job?
JT: To me, CMPD Serves means simply to serve the community. I look to bring that to life with all my interactions with members of the community. Regardless of the contact, I try to always show the human side of the badge.
Have you had any particularly meaningful interactions in your first few weeks on the job?
JT: One interaction I had recently that impacted me is a sad story, but one I want to share.
In the early morning hours of May 5, I went to a house where a natural death occurred. A man woke up to find his wife unresponsive and she ultimately ended up passing after MEDIC and Charlotte Fire Department did 30 minutes of CPR.
During my questioning, the husband started to break down and cry hysterically. He tells us that they were married for 12 years, and he’s known his wife for 20-plus years. Only he and his wife live in the house together.
We spent about two hours with him, and my PTO got him so comfortable that he ended up falling asleep on the couch. As we were leaving the scene, he thanked us repeatedly and even stated that he wanted to show appreciation to the department for how well he was treated. It just touched me to see the pure emotional distress this man was in just go away for the time being, and to thank us for just taking the time to talk with him. That man will never forget how good we made him feel in such a chaotic period in his life.
What’s on your must-eat, -see and -do list for Charlotte visitors?
JT: Charlotte has a lot to offer. Must-see for Charlotte has to include all the sporting venues: Bank of America Stadium, Spectrum Center, Truist Field, or Charlotte Motor Speedway if racing piques your interest. Also spend some time near Lake Wylie or Lake Norman when you get the chance. If you can’t tell, I love sports.
I recommend that Leroy Fox Kitchen & Cocktails or Trolley Barn in South End get your patronage if you’re looking for a restaurant. Optimist Hall near NoDa is great for variety. You will quickly find that there is a ton to do in this city. If you were to stay for a week, you would feel you have done a lot, but there is still a ton to do.