By Florida A&M Sports Information
MIDWAY,FL – Former football player Justin Davis knows what it means to be disciplined and dedicated. Davis graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from FAMU in December 2011, while playing linebacker for the Rattlers during his time in school. Davis was well known for his hard-nosed dedication to special teams. A player that head coach Joe Taylor described as a model citizen, Davis has taken the next step in his career, as he graduated from the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy on June 26, and is preparing to take the next step in his life.
In the state-of-the-art conference center at the Pat Thomas Academy, 51 members of Basic Recruit Class 389 were awarded their graduation certificates. Pat Thomas Center training center director E.E. Eunice presided over the event full of traditions, native to law enforcement officers.
Guest speaker for the event was Walt McNeil, former Tallahassee Police Chief, former secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and former secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections. McNeil is currently the Police Chief of the City of Quincy and the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. McNeil was proud of the entire class and challenged them to do their part to help continue the important work of law enforcement.
After the ceremony, McNeil commented on Davis. “Being here at the Pat Thomas Academy, they’re getting the best training in the state of Florida in terms of law enforcement. They have received a diverse array of training that has prepared them for whatever happens in our society,” McNeil said.
Davis, was extremely proud to have accomplished this level and is looking on to becoming a Florida State Trooper. “I feel happy and amazed that I made it this far. I plan on starting state trooper academy in July. I think being a part of the football team at FAMU, has helped me greatly. Law enforcement is a team itself. They’re like your brothers and sisters. Being a part of the football team helped me greatly toward my ultimate goal in law enforcement,” Davis concluded.
Taylor was extremely proud of Davis. “When you look around our field house complex and you see signs that say ‘Do The Right Thing,’ It’s not just about what you do at our facility or on the football field. It’s about what you do in the classroom and in their social lives as well. That’s what discipline is about. Guys like Justin are a coaches dream. In meetings, he was up front because he didn’t want to miss anything. It all starts with discipline. He wasn’t the fastest kid on the team, but he would always be where he was supposed to be,” Taylor added.
McNeil concurred. “Law enforcement and life in general is all about discipline. Disciplining yourself, disciplining your body and being able to understand that this is bigger than you as an individual. It takes a whole group of people to get something accomplished. Obviously athletics is all about that and that transfers to a life in law enforcement. That explains why we see so many athletes being successful in law enforcement,” McNeil said.
Solidifying this point was former Florida State University wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe, also in Davis’ recruit class.