DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Suicides, stand-offs and deputy-involved shootings are just some of the things three Davidson County deputies have seen during their 30 years with the sheriff’s office.
They’ve watched how criminals have become craftier, and their jobs have gotten more dangerous, but they’ve never lost the mission to protect the citizens they serve.
“If there weren’t us, I would hate to see what this world would be like,” Major Robert Miller said.
Major Robert Miller, Captain Phillip Goodyear and Lieutenant Dennis Rabon have witnessed some tough situations.
“You see so much on a daily basis that people never would dream. You would never see it in a movie,” Miller said.
Suicides, child abuse and drug overdoses are some of the more common calls deputies are dispatched to these days.
“There was a lot of places in Davidson County that you would get down in a hole, and you would be on your own, and you would be at least 30 minutes away from back-up. You had to learn to talk to people, and you had to learn to fight people,” Goodyear said.
The job isn’t as appealing as it used to be when these men go their badges in their 20s. They believe the violence towards law enforcement officers deters young people from signing up.
The men and women who do hear the calling and choose to join the force also have to give things up.
“People don’t see what we have to juggle with missing our families. We miss our families a lot,” Miller said.
Despite the tough days, these men always had one mission in mind: helping people.
“You treat people like they want to be treated like your mom and dad taught you, and you’ll go a long way in this job,” Miller said.
“If I’m going to make a place better, I want to make it the place I live at,” Rabon said.
Pictures of their 1994 law enforcement class hang on the walls as a reminder of how far these three men marking a milestone have come.
They’ve watched the technology change over the course of five different sheriffs, from paper warrants to computers, from sharing cars to taking home their own every night.
As the three deputies get ready to walk through the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office doors for the last time, the hardest thing to leave is each other.
“The job is not a big deal to me, but the people are,” Goodyear said.
The deputies say some of the most rewarding moments are working with kids through the DARE program and through being a school resource officer.
They say when you can teach a kid to trust the badge and have trust in an officer, they know they’re doing their job right.
“God watched over me enough to let me put this thing on for 30 years straight. That’s a win. A lot of people don’t get to say that, and you have three of us 30 years. That’s a milestone,” Miller said.