The Tiverton Police Department welcomed a new officer to its force last month.
Officer Matthew Braun, grew up in a law enforcement family and is carrying on the tradition of his father, who was a Warren policeman for many years.
Braun took no shortcuts on his road to becoming one of Tiverton's finest. In a hiring process that singles out just one or two applicants from a pool of more than 50, Braun rose to the top of the list of the 2012 recruits. It was his third time applying for the position.
"Each time he made himself a better applicant and showed us the commitment that he wanted to work here," said Capt. Patrick Jones.
After his first attempt, Braun, 30, graduated from the Community College of Rhode Island in 2006 with an associate degree in law enforcement. From there, he moved on to a position in security at Johnson and Wales University in Providence. Gaining education and experience, Braun said he now has the background to achieve his childhood dream of becoming a police officer.
"Iniitially when he applied, he did not meet the rigorous standards," said Capt. Patrick Jones. "Upon recognizing this, Officer Braun decided to enroll in a criminal justice program. He furthered himself with a security position and eventually, he met the standard. We try to set a bar here in Tiverton for recruits and people we want to hire to serve our community. Officer Braun has met and exceeded that."
This time Braun was the standout officer, completing the physical agility and written exams with ease and impressing a panel of officers during interviews.
"I have known that I wanted to work in law enforcement for my whole life," said Braun. "I always looked up to [police officers] like my dad, his friends."
Braun finally realized his goal in December when he graduated from the state Municipal Police Academy. Since that day, Braun has been working closely with his field training officer, Ptrlmn. Liam Black, learning protocols and the lay of the land in Tiverton.
Braun said he was drawn to Tiverton because of its beauty, small-town appeal and its proximity to his home. Braun and his wife Kristen reside in Warren. The pair married on Sept. 21, while Braun was in the academy.
No stranger to hard work, Braun is dedicating himself to his career in Tiverton and already has plans to keep growing.
"My plans are to get as much training as possible and to learn as much as I can," he said. "I want to go back to school and get my bachelor's."