Why a teacher gave up his career in education to become a cop

PUYALLUP, Wash. — He says he didn’t think twice.

David Lasalata, who taught middle school and coached sports for more than 10 years, gave up his teaching career to become a police officer. He’s just a few weeks now into his career with the Puyallup Police Department.

Even out on patrol, David — the officer — says he’s still teaching lessons.

“I pulled a gal over who was a former student who was speeding and, unfortunately, I did have to write an infraction.

“I think the life experience helps some, but ultimately it’s learning a whole new trade, a whole new craft, reteaching yourself to see things in a whole new way than you are used to seeing them,” he said.

David's wife, Arielle, says he's doing what he was born to do.

"Ultimately, his natural tendency is to lead people and he wants to make people better," she said.

The couple has three children, and they say they're looking to other families within the force for advice on how to make the transition work.

"I know the risks that are involved in the career but we've been really fortunate to have the kind of support that we do so it kind of made it feel more comfortable, I guess," David said.

"I've always believed that you are either in sales or service, and I believe myself to be a servant first."

And David said the rewards outweigh the risks that comes with being a police officer.

"What better way to serve a community than protecting, enforcing laws and being there when people need you most."