58-year-old police academy recruit proves it’s never too late to go after your dream
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A police academy recruit for the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department is proving that you’re never too old to chase a lifelong dream.
Albert Robertson is 58 years old, and he’s one of the oldest recruits the KCPD has had.
By the time most police officers reach their 60s, they’re either retiring or thinking about retiring. For Robertson, he’s just getting started.
In a class filled with recruits in their 20s and 30s, he’s a standout.
“Obviously, I’m 30 years older than the next guy closest to my age in class,” Robertson said. “I think the youngest young man in class is 20. But, they all kind of call me ‘grandpa.’”
When asked what made him want to join the police force at this age, he said: “I want to keep the streets safe for women and children. I’m only one person, but I can do something. I can’t complain about crime if I’m not willing to do something about it.”
His neighbor, who is a KCPD officer, supported Robertson’s dream to join. That, and the lasting impression officers made while patrolling the Columbus Park neighborhood Robertson grew up in, inspired him.
“When I grew up, there were some officers that patrolled down our neighborhood,” he recalled. “They knew all the children down there. They knew us by name. They were our community police officers. That was an inspiration.”
When the police department found out Robertson wanted to be an officer, they welcomed him into the academy with open arms.
“If anybody feels that calling, to come out here and make a difference and find a way to make somebody’s day a better version than what it was,” said Sgt. Jake Becchina with the KCPD. “Anybody that feels that, we got a spot for them.”
Although Robertson is new to the police force, he’s no stranger to protecting and serving. He served in the U.S Army for 28 years.
“I did desert operation, Desert Spring,” Robertson said, “Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom.”
From protecting his country to protecting communities in Kansas City, Robertson will only be on the force for seven years before he will have to retire from the KCPD.
“I’m just a regular guy, that’s all,” he said. “I’m going to try and go out there and make a difference in seven years. The real heroes are the ones that have done this already for the last 15 or 20 years, or the ones getting ready to do it for 15 or 20 years. They’re the real heroes. They’re going to be on the department longer than me.”
If you’re near Roberson’s age and you’re thinking about becoming an officer, or just wanting to start a new career, he says you should do it.
“You’re never too old,” he said. “Just put your heart into it. You can do whatever you want. Just set your mind to it, put your heart into it and believe you can do it.”
Robertson’s story is already inspiring others in the community.
“I talked to somebody this morning who saw this story online, his story, and said, ‘Well, if he can do it, I can probably do it,’” Sgt. Becchina said. “That’s exactly what we want people to think.”
Robertson is currently passing the academy. He will have to pass the physical and mental tests, like every other recruit, before he can graduate. The 177th EOC are set to graduate on Aug. 3.
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