LOGANSPORT, Ind. (AP) — When patrolmen Jason Rozzi and Clayton Frye hired into the Logansport Police Department in 2016, perhaps no two people were prouder of that achievement than the department’s assistant chief and one of its lieutenants.
Because to them, Rozzi, 29, and Frye, 22, are much more than just colleagues. They’re also their sons.
“You always kind of wish your kids would follow in your footsteps and end up in the same profession you did, but none of mine really indicated they had that desire growing up,” LPD Lt. A.J. Rozzi said.
And it wasn’t even until after high school that Jason thought law enforcement was a career field he’d explore.
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“You get out and start thinking about what you’re going to do with your life,” Jason said. “It’s no secret that your personality matches the people that raise you. My dad’s personality is as a police officer, and my personality is just like his, so it fit.”
For Clayton Frye, the decision to become a police officer came a little earlier in life. Frye’s father, Dan, is a 16-year LPD veteran, and Clayton said growing up around that environment helped shape his own future career path. He even interned with the department during his senior year of high school.
“When I was younger, I hung out down in the squad room quite a bit,” he said. “I knew everybody. When I interned here, I really liked it and always wanted to do what my father did.”
So Clayton quit school after his freshman year of college and applied for LPD.
“He (Dan) tells you he worries about it, but he was all for me wanting to do this,” Clayton said. “He was just as excited as I was.”
And even though A.J. and Dan said they’re both proud of having a child that has followed in their footsteps, it can be a little nerve-wracking too, especially since they don’t work on the same shifts as their sons.
“To say I’m not concerned or scared for him, I wouldn’t say that,” Dan said. “I think of that quite often, about what he’s doing. I’m not sure I’ve ever been concerned about myself going on a call, but now you’re asking me about my son, and that’s a little different.”
A.J. agreed, saying he understands the dangers that come with police work, but he tries not to think about that when it comes to Jason.
“You just have to hope that he (Jason) uses common sense and keeps himself safe,” A.J. said. “I don’t dwell on it too much and think about what he’s doing now or if there are any types of incidents that could harm him.”
And although neither son said they feel the pressure of being a second-generation on the police department, they did say it’s nice to be able to have someone to come to for advice or just a listening ear.
“I have someone I can go and talk to about whatever happened the night before at work,” Clayton said. “I know I can come to my dad if I have any questions, and he’ll answer and talk with me about whatever.”
As for those words of encouragement, both fathers said there are simple principles that they hope their sons will always follow when it comes to law enforcement.
“Your word is everything,” Dan said. “So be truthful but also never lose compassion for people.”
And when your son is also your co-worker, some people might think you’re more favorable to him, but that’s not the case with A.J. and Dan.
“They’re like any other officer on the force,” Dan said. “We might have different concerns being their fathers, but their expectations are no different than anybody else.”
A.J. echoed that sentiment.
“Do we talk about stuff? Yeah,” he said. “You want the best for your kids, but you kind of separate a little bit when you’re here at the department because you expect them to do the job like everybody else.”
But at the end of the day, it’s still about family.
“There’s a lot of pride there,” A.J. said. “It’s always nice when one of your children takes the same career path you did. It makes you feel like you influenced them to some degree, that they were proud of you as they were growing up and wanted to follow in dad’s footsteps.”
Source: (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune, http://bit.ly/2FIwiJt
Information from: Pharos-Tribune, http://www.pharostribune.com