Arkansas City Police Officer Wade Hammond recently was featured in the American Police Beat magazine.
This magazine is geared toward law enforcement and covers topics that have to do with many facets of the profession.
Hammond was featured in a section called the “Feel good corner…”, which can be found at apbweb.com/abp_317/?page=16.
To protect and save
The photo seen in the magazine was from a save that Hammond and Arkansas City Police Department Sgt. Jason Legleiter made last July.
It involved a dog hanging from a vehicle window in the Walmart parking lot. Legleiter cut the leash that the dog had hung itself from and Hammond performed CPR on the animal.
This act later netted ACPD an award from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for saving the dog.
“Seeing the dog, in the position it was in, kind of tugs at your heart. I honestly just reacted as if it was my own dog,” Hammond said.
“I like to think that regardless of the uniform, I would have acted the same way.”
Journey to becoming an officer
Hammond did not start out his adult life by pursuing a career in law enforcement. He actually was in public education.
“After two years, I found myself not wanting to go to work — not because I did not enjoy it,” he said. “There were certain aspects that I still miss. I just wasn’t having the impact that I thought I should be making. I wanted a job that I loved going to, that would challenge me every day and on my worst day, I still wanted to go back for the next day.”
During a conversation with a school resource officer, the officer told Hammond that he should “be a cop.”
“I saw hateful things and downright horrible things being said,” Hammond said. “With everything happening, there will still officers going to work, doing their job and making sure the public was safe regardless of how they were treated.”
In the end, Hammond chose to move forward with joining the law enforcement community.
“I wanted to be an officer because I wanted to the person that makes change happen. I wanted to be able to help people in a different way, to make a difference in a community,” he said.
Hammond still shaping young minds
Despite no longer working in education, Hammond still is having an impact on the younger generations.
Recently, he spent a few moments with a young Ark City resident when she visited the police department earlier this month.
“ACPD had a very special visitor this morning,” states a post on the ACPD Facebook page. “Lochlyn Brown came in to visit with Officer Hammond about being a police officer. We hope to see her application in about 17 years.”
When asked if he took strides to encourage younger people to pursue careers in law enforcement, Hammond seemed to shrug off the individual attention.
“I believe that our whole department does that — it’s not just me,” he said. “I think that when kids want to be police officers when they grow, (it) shows that we are putting out the right message. We as a police department strive to be the best at what we do, and when the younger generations want to do what we do, it is a great feeling.”