"You don't know from minute to minute what will happen while on the job. It's exciting," Indiana State Police Trooper James "Jim" Cruse told The Brazil Times about recently graduating the academy and patrolling Clay County. "I've always wanted to be a law enforcement officer. I like interacting with people and this job lets you meet people you wouldn't ordinarily have the chance to."
Although he didn't live in Clay County, Cruse spent a lot of time visiting friends and family members in the Brazil area while growing up in Vigo County.
"This is a great area, with a lot of nice people," he said.
A member of the ISP Terre Haute District 32, Cruse is one of two new troopers assigned to patrol Clay County. Trooper Darrell Cooley is the other officer. Cruse said there are normally six troopers assigned to the area, but two are currently on military leave.
"We have a great working relationship with all local law enforcement agencies. And that's really important in this line of work," Cruse said. "(Law enforcement officers) do a lot of things that people don't see or know about, like public informational appearances at schools and churches."
According to Cruse, an unexpected perk of the job is being selected from a "volunteer list" to work special details.
"I was selected to do traffic detail at one of the busiest intersections at the Indianapolis 500," he said. "There were hundreds of cars in all four directions and only seven officers working. It was a little hectic, but I was able to walk around the pit area and watch part of the race."
Cruse has also been selected to work at the National Hot Rod Association US Nationals and the Indiana Black Expo Celebration, but another detail this summer has his attention peaked.
"I'm really looking forward to working with children at the 2009 ISP Respect for Law Camp," he said. "I like helping others, especially the kids."
Although his career is in its infancy, Cruse admits to seeing himself grow as a law enforcement officer.
"I plan on participating in more specialized training in the future, but I'm not sure about what area in law enforcement yet," he said. "Think I'll just wait and see what the future holds. There's enough to learn right now."