Rookie officer loves job, looking forward to bright future

BY Jan Murray

Rookie officer loves job, looking forward to bright future
At 23 years old Officer Thomas R. J. Mason is young and has his entire future ahead of him as he begins his career as a police officer with the Daleville Department of Public Safety. He wouldn’t have it any other way.“I feel I have a bright future in this career… I would like to thank the city of Daleville for sending me to the (police) academy and for all the support that came with it. I will give twice as much support towards the city as they gave me to keep the city of Daleville safe.”Mason started with the department on Dec. 9, 2015 as a provisional officer, meaning he worked in law enforcement but had no arrest powers nor could he operate without a certified officer. He went on to the police academy in Selma on Jan. 18 and completed 520 hours/13 weeks of specialized training. Mason graduated on April 14.“The Alabama Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission  (certifies all AL law enforcement) requires they work with an agency 30 days prior to attending an academy,” said DDPS Director Harvey Mathis. “While at the academy he qualified with his handgun and rifle, received 16 hours in active shooter training, completed a strategic self-defense and grappling tactics course, was certified on use of the Drager Alcotest, which is used on DUI cases. He was also certified in field sobriety testing procedures and became CPR certified…that’s just to name a few.”Mason said, “I learned a lot of different skills while attending the academy. In a 13-week time span, the police academy prepares you for everything that you will possibly come in contact with. With the support from my fellow officers at the police department, it made me well prepared for the challenges at the academy.” Mason began the academy with 34 students. 30 graduated. “At my former job as a Correctional Officer at Easterling Correctional Facility in Clio,I wanted to become a police officer to help out my community that I grew up in.I had a lot supporters in the community of Daleville as well as family pushing me towards being a police officer,” the rookie officer explained.The chief said Mason was known to other Daleville officers prior to attending the police academy and that he was a Daleville volunteer firefighter.“I was very impressed with this young man,” said Mathis, “and have no doubt he will be an asset to this department and to the city of Daleville.  We strive to pick the best candidates for the position, and I know we have one of the best now working for us.”Mason said he enjoys being out in the community that he is now helping to protect and hopes to be an integral part of forging positive relationships with the citizens.“I get out and try to show my face in the community centers and schools along with housing areas and stores to let the youth and people of the city of Daleville know that it's okay to reach their hand out for our help for anything without being scared to do so,” he said. “I enjoy doing the job and enjoy being able to protect and safe guard lives.”Mathis said, “I urge every citizen of Daleville that comes into contact with Public Safety Officer Mason to greet him, welcome him and remind him how friendly our citizens are and of how supportive they are of law enforcement.”
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