MARION, Miss. (WTOK) - Officer Rio Randle is new to the Marion Police Department and says being a police officer is not something he thought he would be doing when he was young.
"It never really did cross my mind as a child really. If it did it was kind of like a hit and miss, like it would be there for a second and then it would go away," Randle says.
Randle started off working in the jail at a sheriff's office. He did that for about five years before eventually making his way to being a Meridian Community College campus police officer.
"They sent me through the police academy. I stayed there for about a year and a half, then came here," Randle says.
Randle has had the full support of his family.
"Believe it or not they don't believe me doing it. They just always tell me to be careful. They've always backed me in what I've done," Randle says.
For those on the cusp of joining law enforcement or going off to the police academy, Randle has this to say.
"All I can say is to get ready to run. Just keep your head focused on why you're there. Just know any academy you go to in the state of Mississippi is not going to be a cake walk," Randle says.
Randle says he will follow the path of law enforcement for a long time to come.
"I plan on being here for the next four to five years. After that, I will see about going to the county or the city or something like that," Randle says.
To stay up to date with our First Responders series tune in every Sunday night for Newscenter 11 at 10:00 p.m. and on Good Morning Meridian on Monday mornings