“The most challenging aspect of my job is living two different lives,” notes Criminal Justice student, Raymond Peele. Raymond is an undercover narcotics Detective and has been serving in law enforcement with the Howard County Police Department for seven years. Prior to his promotion to Detective, Raymond was on patrol for about a year and half. During his tenure at Howard County, he has been honored as Police Officer of the Year in 2013 and recently as Detective of the Year. In his other life, Raymond is a husband and father who strives to split his time equally between his wife and kids, and even coaches his son’s basketball team and manages his daughter’s soccer team.
Determined to continue advancing his career, Raymond is earning a bachelor’s degree in order to pursue becoming a Captain in the future. Eventually, he may even tackle his master’s. He notes, “I currently have an associate’s degree and have always wanted to earn my bachelor’s but my plans kept getting postponed. My wife gave me the extra push I needed by reminding me that I could not stress education to the kids and at the same time not pursue my own education.”
In Raymond’s words, working in law enforcement is something, “you have to feel in your heart” and requires a true calling. From a young age, he knew felt this was the career path for him. Raymond says, “You have to realize that you are putting your life on the line for total strangers. When I attend career fairs, I ask prospective cadets, “Is this something you are willing to accept?” And if they are not 100 percent sure, I advise them that it is not the career for them.”
Raymond notes in addition to feeling the call to serve, having the ability to be flexible and think on one’s feet are essential to becoming a skilled Detective. He also mentions attention to detail, rigorous work ethic, and effective teamwork skills as vital qualities. Through all of his experiences, Raymond states that focusing on maintaining a successful strategy for time management is what keeps him afloat. He explains, “I’m constantly on the go. I work full time, take two classes per session, and spend time with my wife and kids. The trick is not taking time or energy away from any of the elements.”
From his first visit at Stevenson’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Raymond felt he made the right choice. He explains, “It is has been a phenomenal experience. Everyone I talk to is wonderful and my Student Success Coach, Kim Moore is a true blessing.” Raymond shares that his grandmother is a huge inspiration to him as well as his brothers. He says, “My grandmother raised me and my three older brothers. And my brothers taught me how to be a man. From how to tie a tie, to the difference between right and wrong.” An interesting fact about Raymond is that he is a huge Disney person. Every other year, Raymond and his family visit Disney World. He boasts, “Ask me anything about Disney and I can tell you!”