Brandon Lawson is where he wants to be.
He is a police officer in a small town in North Dakota.
Just a few months out of the academy and still 19 years old, the former Fessenden resident is living his dream.
He is a police officer.
By Brad Mosher
Although he was born in the small California town of Sonora, he has grown up moving from town to town in North Dakota, following his father’s jobs in small town police departments across the state.
For almost as long as he can remember, Lawson has wanted to have a career in law enforcement and shortly after his GED, he made it into the academy.
He got an offer from the Williston Police Department shortly before graduation. But the opening wouldn’t be for several months and he had two mouths at home to feed.
So Lawson sent out inquiries throughout the state.
Killdeer responded and Lawson was hired.
The rookie police officer is currently working the day shift, covering the Killdeer city limits.
According to Lawson, he has been living in small Dakota towns since he was four years old. And one reason Fessendon has a major role in his life was the fact he met his future wife there. “We have been together five years and married one and a half years,” he said. His son, Aivyn, will be three in January.
Growing up, he lived in Bowman, Lakota, Fargo … pretty much everywhere, he explained.
He went to high school in Harvey and then went to Lake Region State College near Devil’s Lake.. I finished my high school career at Lake Region, taking my G.E.D.,” he said.
Already a parent, then he moved to Fargo.
It wasn’t until he was in the last week of the academy that Lawson found prospective employment. “I got a position with Williston P.D., but it didn’t start until January. So, I applied here (Killdeer) and the City of Killdeer gave me a chance.
“I like it so far,” he added.
Already, the department has him busy. “Right now, I am working the day shift and next month, I will be working the night shift. I am patrolling all of Killdeer and the highway that runs through Killdeer – everything in the city limits.”
Eventually, Lawson said he would like to work in several areas while being stationed in Killdeer.
“My goal is I would like to work in the undercover world… I would like to stop narcotics,” he said.
Before that happens, Lawson knows there will be training. “Lots of training. The chief here has many years of experience. I am sure he will help me learn how to detect certain characteristics for people – it might be a DUI for someone who might have narcotics in their car or ingesting narcotics. There are lots of people in this department who have years of experience and I can be learning from them.”
He also said that he wants to continue his education. “I want to back to college and get a bachelor’s degree in Criminology. I would probably do it online. I have found that a lot of people in law enforcement want to get degrees in criminal justice and learn about all the laws.
“I want to study why that person did what he did,” Lawson added.
What drew Lawson to law enforcement as a career was his wish to help people, he explained.
“Most people want to be a cop so they can drive a car fast, shoot guns – all the fun stuff you see in Hollywood.
“I wanted to be able to protect those who can not protect themselves.
“That can be going to the high schools and elementary schools to check up on the kids and walk the hallways.
“I have talked to the chief about putting on an anti-bullying (program) or anti-suicide … stuff like that at a school because that is where it starts,” he explained.
The new hire has already moved his family into town after the city found a three-bedroom home. “Its very nice. We pay the rent.”
The Lawson family is planning on staying in Killdeer for a while, he said.
“We’ll be here for a few years. I think I owe that to the city for giving me the chance to be working here. I don’t want to mess them up by leaving after a year or so.
“Later on, I would like to move on to may be the Feds and go into federal work like the FBI,” he explained.
With the addition of Lawson, the police department has five personnel, including the chief, which means the department is fully staffed, he said.