Local News

Never Too Late: Durham's Newest Officer Cops a New Career at 50

Posted January 14, 2001

— When you were young, did you ever want to be a firefighter or a police officer? For most of us, things just did not work out that way. For one Durham man, it finally did.

Officer Bobby Wilson is one of Durham's newest police officers. As a rookie, this is only his second week on the street.

However, Officer Wilson has been around the block once or twice. The rookie officer is almost 50 years old.

"I don't think it's really set in yet," he says. "It's still kind of foreign to me. I've still got a lot to learn."

Family and finances led him to a computer career at Liggett-Myers, but this second career is more about fulfilling a life-long dream.

"The kids are grown and gone, and it's just me and my wife," he says. "It's time to do something for me now."

At first, he had some concerns about interacting with the younger officers, but Wilson says the real test was getting through the academy.

"It was tough. Probably harder than I thought it was going to be," he says. "Most difficult thing I've done since boot camp some 30 odd years ago."

Wilson thinks his age and his life experiences might actually help him out on his daily patrols. Right now, he is enjoying being of of the newest officers on the force.

"I'm just happy to be here and be given the opportunity to do this and fulfill this dream," he says.

Officer Wilson will spend the next six months working closely with a field training officer before he goes solo.

Wilson was the oldest cadet in his graduating class. The youngest officer was 21.


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