For Southwestern High School graduate Troy Bouckhuyt, no two days are the same.
A Deputy Sheriff with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, Bouckhuyt received his associate degree from Jamestown Community College and graduated from the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Academy.
In addition to relevant coursework, students at the Sheriff’s Academy also participate in hands on field training in which they have the opportunity to ride along with current members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.
“This job is not for everybody. It is very different sitting in a class learning about it than actually being out there, dealing with people doing this,” Bouckhuyt said.
In 2008, he attended the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School in Alabama and received his bomb technician certification, becoming one of approximately 2,900 bomb technicians in the entire United States.
As a member of the Chautauqua County Bomb Squad and SWAT Team, Bouckhuyt and his unit are responsible for responding to calls involving IED’s, suspicious materials and explosive substances in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. This is in addition to their primary roles as patrolmen and investigators.
“Growing up, being a police officer is what I always wanted to do,” Bouckhuyt said. “I actually wanted to be a U.S. Marshall, but through looking into that career, and what was involved with it, I knew I had to have some experience as a police officer first. After I graduated, I was hired by the Sherriff’s Department full time and loved it and decided this is where I wanted to be.”
Through his work and various training, Bouckhuyt has had the opportunity to travel all over the country but has always remained steadfast in his decision to live in Chautauqua County.
“I actually had a chance to work with the NYPD (in New York City). But this is where I grew up; I think it’s a great place to raise a family. I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything, so I knew this was how I wanted to raise my kids,” Bouckhuyt said.
Bouckhuyt also wouldn’t trade his career for anything.
“When I put my uniform on and get ready to go to work I have no idea what I’m going to do that day. Some days you deal with people who are in the worst part of their lives, some days it’s the best part. Every day is completely different.”
This is part of a series focusing on students who have received scholarship assistance from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and have returned to the area to live and work. If you were a scholarship recipient and want to share your story, contact Sarah Marciniak at 661-3390 or email@example.com.
Current high school seniors or college students interested in learning more about the scholarship opportunities available through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation can learn more here. Applications are now available for the 2015-2016 school- year and are due June 1.