Wake County News

Retired Apex captain says 28 years in law enforcement was a blessing

APEX, N.C. (WNCN) - Retired Apex police captain Jacques Gilbert looks back on his 28 years in law enforcement not as a career, but a calling.

"People need to understand what officers face on a daily basis, and it is a noble call. That risk has always been there, but it does seem like there's been a peak in these incidents," he said.

Gilbert said Wednesday's shooting of a Raleigh police officer is a reminder of the harsh realities members of law enforcement face every day. He tries to impart the dangerous realities of the job upon his students at Blue Lights College.

"We let them know right out of the gate that this is a sacrifice. This is why you do it," Gilbert said.

Jacob Molden, 22, graduated from Blue Lights College, and is now enrolled in Basic Law Enforcement Training at Central Carolina Community College.

Molden said the shooting of Officer Charles Ainsworth, and the fatal shooting of two other members of law enforcement this week, are hard to ignore. That's especially as an aspiring police officer.

"It's scary, but it's what we signed up for," Molden said. "It's part of the job, you also get to serve a lot of people and help a lot of people."

Gilbert said some students do get discouraged, and one recently left the program because of the the risks of the job. However, for the students who stick with it, Gilbert tells them them to keep in mind why they want to become police officers.

"People are looking for people just like you to protect them," Gilbert said.

Despite recent line-of-duty shootings, Molden said he's driven to pursue his dreams of becoming an officer.

"It gives you that much more urge to stop that before it happened, to try and show people that you're out there for good," he said.

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