What I Do: What if the car you were driving skidded off an icy bridge and fell into deep, swirling water? You just might survive if a police diver reached you in time. I know because I've rescued people in that very situation. I'm a police officer serving in the department's underwater search and recovery unit. My team and I perform rescue operations, search for stolen goods, and collect evidence, all under water. When called to a site, we first develop a search plan. Then the designated diver (usually me) puts on diving equipment, including scuba gear, and begins the search.
Best & Hardest Parts of My Job: My job is dangerous. I have to dive in all types of weather and in all types of water. Sometimes there is zero visibility, and often times the water is highly polluted. In addition to the physical challenges, my work is difficult in another way. More than once I have had to pull a body from the water, the victim of an accident or a suicide. On the other hand, I have also rescued people who would have drowned were it not for me. No feeling in the world tops the satisfaction of saving a life!
How I Got Started: When I was in college, I learned how to scuba dive just for fun. Later, when I became a police officer, I realized that I could use my diving experience in law enforcement. To get a job in the search and recovery unit, I had to pass a series of grueling admission tests and undergo extensive training. The selection process was very competitive. I now have to keep my certification updated by attending monthly practice sessions and learning new techniques.