Saturday, December 5, 2015

Inside the Life of a State Trooper: Part I

My niece Colleen shares her birthday with her husband Jason. He's a Nebraska State Trooper, and for the last couple of years, she's been a school secretary. They live in Norfolk, Nebraska, with their three daughters and their dog named Copper. 

The two met in Omaha while attending Grace University. After 16 years of marriage, this couple is physically fit and financially responsible. I thought it'd be interesting for them to share their lives with the readers of the blog, so I interviewed them about their occupations and interests. 

This is Part 1. Part 2 will run next week. 
As a state trooper, Jason, you've competed at the national level for vehicle inspection. What all does that entail? Describe the highest level of recognition earned for this.
I was privileged and honored to represent the Nebraska State Patrol in the 2006, 2007, and 2009 North American Inspector’s Championships in New Orleans, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh. I competed at the state level, placing first place, and then moving on to the National competition in these cities. My best placement overall was 14th in the Nation. The competition consists of a personal interview, hazardous materials table top exercise, a level one inspection, motor coach inspection, and a cargo tank inspection. 

What's the toughest part about being in law enforcement today?
Where do I start? You work nights, weekends, and holidays in law enforcement just like those in the healthcare field and fire/rescue. I respond to bad situations such as tornadoes, floods and, fatality crashes. Overall, I feel the schedule can be most challenging and demanding especially when you have a growing family with spouses that work. For the first 10 years of our child rearing, Colleen was able to stay home--which we loved. Money was tight but we tried to live within our means on a written budget. I would not have traded it for anything. 

Having a supportive spouse as I do, minimizes the tough schedule at times of working early, working late, changing days off, and being gone for training for days at a time. I absolutely love what I do!
The key to all of this in our family is communication. With communication, everybody is on the same page and plays by the same schedule. We can make arrangements and adjustments accordingly and not on a whim which usually leads to frustration and complications in the breakdown of communication. Colleen tries to keep up with my schedule, and I attempt to keep up with hers. We are both committed in our relationship to each other and to our girls.
Another tough part is the unknown of my career. I pray daily that God would give me great discretion and judgment in my interactions with people and in both good and bad situations.
I have gone hands-on with people. I have intentionally disabled cars with police maneuvers. I have arrested subjects for numerous offenses. I take my job and oath very seriously and am always cognizant of the great responsibility and authority given to me by God and the citizens that I serve.
Officer Jason Petty
As a young trooper, I would say a “policeman’s prayer” which I prayed religiously for many years before I started every shift. I believe now it’s not only the words that I speak to God but the meditation of my heart to Him that I strive for today. I believe God is with me if I say a wordy prayer or not. He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me, and His presence is with me wherever I go and whatever I do. My prayers now are pretty basic such as, “keep me safe” and “give me great discernment.”

I do covet and am thankful for the prayers of those committed to pray for me on a regular basis.

Law enforcement now days has gotten a bad rap in the presseven in the Midwest. What's the most positive experience you've encountered in the last couple years?

I meet and talk with more people in one day than some do in a month. I am afraid my list of positive experiences with these people would exceed this blog! I meet people in their worst times or moments which can affect the rest of their lives negatively or positively. 
For example, nearly six years ago, I was working traffic around the same time as today, November 24, in 2009. I clocked a vehicle at a high rate of speed who I turned on and the chase was on. The vehicle tried to elude me by pulling into a long driveway that led to a farm house. I continued up the road past the house where I observed a man running away from his vehicle. The man was apprehended and arrested for numerous charges including third offense DUI.
Fast forward six years. I pulled this same man over who I recognized right away. Conversation led to him being arrested that day. The man finally realized it was me and jokingly said, “So you are the little **** that caught me.”
The man then said something I will never forget, “You saved my life that day.” 

This man was a chronic alcoholic and went into treatment after being released from jail. A manwhose marriage, family, and body were suffering the consequences of years of alcohol use and abusehad found serenity and healing.
Most times, you never know the impact that you make on people’s lives, but every once in a while, you get to find out. 

Next Week: another trooper story from Jason, Co's job, the couple's involvement with Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Ministries, and their workout routine to stay physically fit. 


  1. Thank you Officer Jason Petty for your service and what you do to serve and protect. No one likes to see that light flashing in their rear view mirror but we all appreciate that you keep us safer on the highways. Praying the Lord will always keep you and bring you home to your family safe each day!

  2. I had the pleasure of going to Grace with Colleen and Jason, getting to know them well while playing basketball. You could hot have put a more amazing couple together if you tried. Amazing people with wonderful hearts for God!

    1. They're such a good example to many, aren't they, Karen? I probably saw you play basketball then--I'd go to the games in Haviland, KS when Grace played down here.

  3. Officer Petty I have known you for many years you are a great inspiration in many areas of your life but the best is your love for the Lord. Thanks for your public service and friendship rekindled. Godspeed my friend

    1. Glad you cherish your friendship with Jason. Thanks for taking the time to comment on the blog.