Men and women around our communities every day of the year are out patrolling the streets with the aim of keeping your family safe. It can be a dangerous job, even deadly. Even when the stakes are not that high, law enforcement officers are encountering people experiencing the worst days of their lives. So why put on the uniform?
One of the youngest officers in Maryville is 21-year-old Matthew Tipton. He’s been patrolling these streets for almost two years. It is a selfless and sometimes dangerous job he took on because he wanted to help others.
“I feel like I can make the best impact on my community through this job because it gives me the most opportunity to do that,” said Tipton.
It is a service inspired by his family. Officer Tipton’s grandfather answered his call to serve by joining the military.
“I didn’t think the soldier life really fit my personality so I knew that is not what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to do something similar,” he said.
He went through the academy with more than 50 other rookies also eager to join the force. During his time there in 2016, the Maryville Police Department lost one of their own. Officer Kenny Moats was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute call.
“He wanted to change this community for the better and we don’t continue that work and try to continue his legacy then we are basically failing him,” he said.
The dangers of this job did not discourage him. In his mind, completing his training was the only option.
“That just kind of strengthened my resolve to keep on going and push through the academy get on the road and take the bad guys off the streets,” said Tipton.
He admitted there have been a few close calls. He said one happened after they served papers at a home.
“I had to go through my brain oh my gosh this could get really bad really quick,” he said.
Everyone was ok and he came back to work. He continued to answer the call no matter the risk.
“I truly believe this is my calling. This is what I was meant to do,” said Tipton.