After years of dedication to local police departments, Chief John Horsman will now take the lead of the Delaware Capitol Police as he was appointed its chief earlier this month. As he grew up with his father, a Maryland State Trooper, Horsman knew there was no other career for him, and two of his three children have also followed in his footsteps by pursuing careers in law enforcement.
Q What inspired you to pursue a career in law enforcement?
A I really had absolutely no choice. I was 5 years old before I realized all cars don’t have lights and sirens in them. My father was a Maryland trooper and watching my father and his fellow troopers made me think there would be no better career. From 5 years old, that’s all I wanted to do is be a police officer.
Q What are your goals as the new chief of Capitol Police?
A There are a number of goals I could give, but one of the biggest goals is to continue improving Delaware Capitol Police, to create an atmosphere of excellence and constant improvement. If you have those two goals, you can’t go wrong. In the decision making process, all decisions should be based on if what you’re doing is right, and what you’re doing is fair. If you take the right and fair approach to decision making, the goals of the agency are attainable.
Q What is the most rewarding aspect of your job and why?
A The most rewarding part of my job is that as a chief of police I can constantly impact the lives of my fellow employees at Delaware Capitol Police that I may positively impact their lives. As chief, I have an obligation to ensure that our police and security officers have the very best equipment that will keep them safe. I have an obligation to ensure that we stay on top of our training and equipment. I am focused on making sure that those employees have what it takes to do their job, do it safely and go home at the end of the day and be with their family.
Q What is the most challenging aspect of your job and why?
A One of the most challenging parts, as with any law enforcement executive, is we all have a finite amount of money. Money is not growing on trees, so we have to be good stewards of the public money and we have to be able to take and prioritize our funding to make sure we get the biggest bang for our buck.
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Q What is one of your most memorable moments as an officer?
A A few years ago I was pumping gas at night, minding my own business, and a lady came up and asked if I remembered her. I said, "Sorry, but I don't." She said that about 15 years ago I arrested her for drunk driving. I said, "I'm sorry, I don't remember, but I hope everything came out alright." She said I changed her life that night. She said she went home, found God and stopped drinking. She then got married, had a family and her kids were in the car at the time. Rarely does someone have that, as a police officer. Police officers so rarely get to find out they positively impacted someone's life. Maybe, just maybe, we do get to positively impact the people we interact with. Sometimes it does work out.