Pensacola Police Officer James Reese has a special calling to help his community and hometown in any way he can.
Growing up in Apartment 29 in Attucks Court and going to Escambia High School, he is no stranger to the struggles within his hometown, and is inspiring the area’s youth to look. As a police officer, he considers himself to be a “guardian of the community.”
“Guardian means you’re a guardian to the community,” Captain Reese told WEAR-TV. “Like most police departments, and their mission statement, there’s something that pertains to the enhancement to quality of life.”
The veteran officer tries to change the mindset of young people any opportunity he gets.
“Even though a kid may be poor and have a hard time now, he or she can grow up and overcome those things,” said Captain Reese. “Most crime, not all of it but most crime is a quality of life issue. So what I do is help them improve their quality of life, and that’s really part of the police mission statement, and that’s what motivates me to do it.”
Reese, a captain in the Pensacola police department, spent eight years in the Marine Corps and 22 years in law enforcement. His own inspiration to be successful and give back to the community came from his family’s values.
“Growing up out here I watched my father, my father of course did not finish college. He worked at an auto place here called Stone’s Super Service. He was mainly a tire man. But, I watched him go to work every day, and I watched him show love in the home and taught me how to be a man,” Reese said.
Even though he’s not walking the beat anymore, Captain Reese never misses a chance to interact with people in the community.
“Every chance I get, I’m out here on the street,” he said. “Even though I’m a captain, at heart I’m a street cop and I’ll always be a street cop. Even when I’m retired! I’m still gonna come out here and encourage people to do better.”