“You very rarely—as a policeman—deal with somebody when they’re at their best. 99 times out of 100 you’re dealing with someone when they’re at their worst,” says Detective Aaron Brown, Street Crime Unit, Manchester Police Department.
Whether it’s combating the heroin crisis or responding to your 911 calls for help, police officers have an important and dangerous job. One of their biggest challenges—battling public perception, especially in a time when a seemingly endless stream of videos of violent or deadly encounters involving officers from around the country go viral.
“The reason why that’s news is because there are so many cops out there doing their job the right way,” says Lieutenant Paul Moller, New Hampshire Police Standards & Training.
As we continue our series THE RECRUIT, we take you inside the New Hampshire Police Academy to see what our Manchester Police Department officer-in-training is learning. Plus, we meet his parents.
For Julie and William Regan, Sr., there was never any question that their son would grow up to be a police officer.
“He would always champion the little guy or defend or back people up that might have been bullied. He’s just a good and honorable man, so I think he’s in the right field.”
William Regan Jr.—or Billy, as they call him—is part of the latest class of Manchester PD recruits to go through the police academy.
After nine tough weeks in MPD’s in-house training and another four weeks in Concord, he still has a way to go, but he’s learned a lot. That includes making his bed!
“We have to have our beds made. There’s a specific way that they want the beds to be made. [It’s about] time management, being able to get up and take care of necessary things, whether it be at home, at work. Do it efficiently and do it well. Those are some of the characteristics that we’re developing here,” says Officer Regan.
His parents appreciate that lesson.
DAD: “It’s about time!
MOM: (Laughs out loud)
DAD: “It took 24 years!”
While his parents love his enthusiasm, they do worry about his safety.
“Manchester is a very active city. So, I think on the one hand, we were thrilled because we knew he’d be busy. Obviously, the other piece of that is, oh my gosh, a lot what goes on there is hard core,” says Julie Regan.
But they like his boss Chief Nick Willard. And, as many parents will tell you, that’s a good start to a new career.
“I think to have that as your leader, to have someone who will roll up their sleeves and do the job, Billy’s not on the job yet, but I think he’d follow him into a burning building if he asked him to because I think he’s just earned that respect,” says William, Sr.
And as violent and deadly videos involving police officers challenge public perception of law enforcement as a whole, this mom and dad ask you to consider this:
“They need to make sure they’re giving these police officers a chance because they’re not just about the badge, they’re about the human being,” says Julie.
As for Billy—AKA Officer William Regan, Jr.—his goal is simple.
“I want them to be proud of what I’m doing, I know they are, it’s a big commitment and I’m up to it,” says Officer Regan.” He adds, “I hope I can do it to the best of my ability.”