Matt Mayfield

Badge of courage
Boyhood dreams and a college internship ignited Matt Mayfield’s desire to pursue a career in law enforcement.

A junior sociology major, he recently completed a six-month stint as an intern with the LaGrange Police Department.
“Initially, I spoke with my sociology professor Dr. (Frank) O’Connor about it, and he encouraged me to talk with the Diana (Goldwire) in the Career Development Center,” he says.

“She was thrilled that I wanted to pursue an internship with the department and immediately helped me get things started.

“I spent most of my time on the day shift; I did night shifts on the weekends.”

Originally an education major, the internship cemented Matt’s desires to protect, to serve and to wear the badge.

“A lot of mornings I started off with roll call at 6:45 in the morning.”

Vehicle and equipment checks followed the morning meetings. Then he would “hit the streets” with a LaGrange officer.

“We worked traffic early in the morning. Then, calls started coming in about nine o’clock and continued through the end of our shift.”

What kinds of calls?

“Those we answered most often were domestic violence situations, which are probably the most frequent call for any police department. They are also the most dangerous for an officer to follow up on.”

Matt says 90 percent of the time alcohol is involved in these calls.

“People drink and get into arguments with each other, increasing the threat level.”

So, what motivates him to pursue this line of work?

“I’m a people person, and I want to help people in the community. Working as an officer is a desire I’ve had since I was a little kid.”

This summer, Matt hopes to attend the police academy in Columbus, Ga., to earn his Georgia certifications.

“This will give me time to get almost finished with school before I get out on the streets,” he says.

This fall, he plans to attend classes in the morning and work night patrol in preparation for a full-time career.

He believes the college has prepared him for the journey.

“I’ve taken all the courses necessary for my sociology major, but I’ve also studied subjects like drama and the humanities. I never thought much about theater until those classes, and now I have an appreciation for the arts that I didn’t have before,” he smiles.

“Pushing me to do things I didn’t expect has given me a broader perspective and will prove valuable to me in the future.”

Matt says he sees himself in law enforcement “for the long term.”

“Someday, I’d like to be a federal marshal, and my degree will allow me to do that. Most federal agencies require an undergraduate degree.

“Perhaps after five to 10 years on the streets, getting experience, then I can move into a position as a U.S. Marshal or FBI agent.”

Friends for the Journey

LaGrange College attracts the best and the brightest from all over the world. For example, our most recent incoming class consisted of men and women from 19 states and 10 countries, and included:

  • 76 members of Beta Club or the National Honor Society
  • 71 members of service organizations
  • 51 team captains in varsity sports
  • 25 leaders involved in student government, with 11 presidents
  • Three students involved in school publications, one as editor
  • Two Eagle Scouts
  • 20 musicians in band or orchestra
  • 18 singers in choir
  • 31 entertainers in performing arts
  • 85 students in religious activities.

But you don’t have to be a star in high school to succeed at LaGrange. Here, you’re given the opportunity to discover the best in yourself and find your destiny – all in a caring and supportive environment.