by Terry Rogers
On Monday, January 13, Chief Kenneth Brown of the Milford Police Department presented Corporal Jonathan Ricketts with the Officer of the Year Award at the regular meeting of Milford City Council. In the past few years, Corporal Ricketts has been recognized several times by the Milford Police Department for his dedication and service to the City.
“This is a great career,” Corporal Ricketts said. “I love being a police officer, interacting with the public and making a difference. I really enjoy the day-to-day interaction with society. I also like that no two days are the same.”
Originally from Georgetown, Corporal Ricketts graduated from Sussex Central High School before earning an undergraduate degree in criminal justice with a minor in sociology from Delaware State University. After graduation, he obtained a position as the Director of the Boys and Girls Club at Del State.
“MPD was not my first choice,” Corporal Rickets said. “I initially wanted to become a Juvenile Probation Officer. However, when I graduated, there were no job openings. I was contacted by a friend who suggested I apply at Milford. While I was on my way to turn in my application for the Air Force, MPD called me, offering me a police officer position.”
The first highlight of Corporal Rickett’s career came when he received the Municipal Recruit of the Year at the Delaware Police Academy. He is currently a member of MPD’s SOG and Motorcycle Unit. He has been awarded Officer of the Quarter twice within the past year. However, what he most enjoys is the letters he receives from those he have come into contact with that credit Corporal Ricketts with having a positive influence on their lives.
“I believe the media is actually one of the biggest challenges of our job,” Corporal Ricketts explained. “Media tends to highlight all the negative issues rather than the millions of positive things officers do around the world. This creates a lack of trust throughout our communities. The law enforcement-society relationship needs to improve nationwide. Media could play a huge role in helping that happen. I know that some people do not like me because I wear the uniform and that is something I have to deal with as well.”
Corporal Ricketts suggests that any young person considering a career in law enforcement should research the career and attend seminars to learn more about the many things police officers do on a daily basis. He also suggested that they engage in “ride-alongs” where a civilian is able to ride for a day with a trained police officer to get a feel for what the job entails.
“Once you gain a true understanding of the career, ask yourself if this is something you can do for years to come,” Corporal Ricketts said. “I can tell you, from my perspective, it is extremely rewarding to know you are making a difference for others.”