Raymond Harvey has wanted to be a police officer since the ninth grade.
His aspirations became a reality last month when he graduated from the law enforcement academy in Burien, Wash.
“I like the responsibility of being trusted to make good decisions,” Harvey said.
He is now undergoing 14 weeks of field training with the officers on Orcas, Lopez and San Juan. After shadowing the team members on calls, he will be stationed full-time on Orcas, where he has been a police reserve officer for the past two years.
“All of the officers are professionals in what they do,” Harvey said. “Every officer is their own person and the uniform doesn’t define who we are.”
He says growing up Orcas and then spending time as a reserve officer has given him knowledge for his new position. Harvey says he enjoys helping others and holding people responsible for their actions.
“Part of the challenge is having to take enforcement on people you know you are going to see – and who are possibly friends of yours,” he said. “I view people as human beings. If I arrest someone, it doesn’t make them less of a human being than me. I respect them and attempt to be fair with all my contacts … we all make mistakes.”
Harvey, who is 24, spends his free time hunting, fishing, hanging out with his family and working extra jobs like cutting firewood and mowing lawns.
“He’s doing fantastic,” said officer Steve Johns, who is his field trainer supervisor on Orcas. “He brings a wealth of knowledge of the island from a lifetime of living here. He brings a good community spirit and is a welcome addition to the team.”