70-year-old Jasper man training to become a police officer - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

70-year-old Jasper man training to become a police officer

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LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

70-year-old Tom Parker spends his day on the Angelina College campus pursing his dream of becoming a police officer.

"I just wanted to see if I could do it that was the number one thing because it's a very tough course," said Parker.

Parker drives from Jasper everyday for the Peace Officer class and is currently in his 11th week of the 18-week course.

"People thought I was crazy, they said there is no way you can finish but I'm going to finish," said Parker.

The 70-year-old says he has been in the car business for 40 years but he took a leave of absence to pursue his passion of serving the community.

"The academy is tough you have to have your mindset, it's like going to a military camp," said Parker.

Officials say the Police Academy started with about 50 students this semester, now it's down to 24, including Cadet Parker."

"It makes me feel great because I've out lasted some of the other people who quit," said Parker.

 Academy Director Steven Williamson says Parker is a unique individual working to give back.

Officials say his age may give him an edge out in the field.

"The older students have a lot of life experience they can add," said Terri Dollar, Instructor.

 Parker says the hardest part of the course has been the paperwork, but after months of training the physical aspect of the job has gotten easier.

"I've lost about 17lbs since I've been here, I came in very heavy but I do participate," said Parker.

And with seven weeks to go, turning back isn't an option.

Once he graduates from the academy, Parker plans on becoming a Reserve Officer for the Jasper Police Department.

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