In Jan. 30 IssueRussell County News
The federal stimulus package has reached Russell Springs in the form of a police officer.
Matthew Parrish, 28, is new to the force, as of the end of last month, and Police Chief Joseph M. Irvin said his salary is courtesy of the federal government for the next three years.
Parrish, who was sworn in December 21st is a graduate of the U of L criminal justice program, with a Bachelors’ Degree in Justice Administration.
More recently he has been working in a rather rough neighborhood.
“I was in Iraq for two tours,” Parrish said.
He was a Captain in the US Army, and served 4 years and 8 months on active duty. He said he continues to serve in the reserves.
Parrish has been working with Officer Chasity Shirley, who said the new recruit is doing well and is a fast learner.
“He’ll make one heck of an officer,” Shirley said.
As with most in the profession the job is the culmination of a life-long dream.
“I’ve always wanted to be a cop, as long as I can remember,” Parrish said.
Shirley said the recruit’s mother has told her stories of him chasing his sister around, trying to arrest her whey they were children.
But Parrish had another reason for leaving the Army.
“I came back to be a dad for my daughter and husband to my wife,” Parrish said.
He is married to Tracie Parrish, who was Tracie Thompson a Russell County native.
The family has been making their home here since his return from the service and Parrish had been working at Premier Integrity Solutions until he got his dream job.
Chief Irvin said the recruit was chosen from a number of applicants.
“We had between 30 and 40 people come in to apply,” Irvin said.
Those numbers were winnowed significantly by the state-mandated testing procedures, he added.
There are physical, psychological, background and other tests required before an applicant is even eligible to be hired by any police department in Kentucky.
“There were a dozen or so who finished the screening process,” Irvin said. “We selected the applicant we felt would be the best asset to the department.”