Nouvel Catholic Central
BC Lions ‘94
San Antonio ‘95
There’s so much that happened in my life that I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll start off by sharing a bit before I became a police officer. I was an athlete and played multiple sports in High-School. I was fast and was tough and so football was the perfect sport that I continued into College at Vanderbilt University. From there, I continued to play in the CFL with multiple teams, but my story of becoming a police officer begins when I decided to leave the CFL’s Ottawa Roughriders to attend the police academy. I got up and drove from 9am and got to Nashville at 2am in order to be on time for the police academy that was starting just 4 hours later. I finished police academy with high hopes of being a Community Officer (the ones who work in High-Schools), but once I started policing, I got in a group that was much different. I got on the Flex unit which would go to the toughest, dirtiest and drug infested areas in Nashville. Our unit was basically all about kicking ass and taking names (not doing anything wrong, but doing stuff that others were scared to do). I worked in this unit for 5 years and had countless foot pursuits, fighting people in the streets and overall just working in tough neighborhoods. As a police officer, I slowly became a different person than when I first started. I began partying and drinking. I would work, party and drink. The next day I would repeat! During this time, while at a bar, I got myself in a situation that would change my position as a Police Officer forever. Though I passed a lie detector test, a woman lied about something that I did and over the next 22 months I was ordered to work from home while the department investigated. It was one of the most trying periods of my life, and I hit rock bottom! I had no where else to turn except to the Lord. Over those next 22 long months, I consistently went to Church and read the Bible. In fact, I was awakened around 3am every morning and would read my Bible for 15 minutes to over 2 hours. I truly got to know the Lord and knew God had a purpose for my life. I ended up having to resign from the police department but that was okay. Though I have some baggage from my past, I don’t want to dwell on those things but want to share how good the Lord is today. I am a Champion in God’s eyes!
The advice I’d like to give to others is to not hesitate or wait on your relationship with God because he’s created you for a purpose. The closer you are to walking in his will in life, the more Peace you will have. That’s my advice.
Tony, thanks for sharing your story. I've known you for many years and you've always been a class act. I can still remember before we officially were at Vanderbilt reading your athletic profile and how many records you held in High-School sports. You have been gifted athletically and took those gifts to the next level in the Canadian Football League. You've always been fast and as a running back, were always being chased after but that changed while a Policeman! You got a chance to do what I've always done (I was a defensive player) except you were much faster! I would've hate to have been the bad guy running from you. It's interesting how life works though! There was a time in life when you seemed to be doing really well, living the sort of good life, but that story came to an end when the drinking and partying each night didn't seem to satisfy. I'm also pretty familiar with that path as well as the same results. Those things just fill us temporarily and there's always an empty feeling inside that gets bigger and bigger until, like you, we hit our rock bottom. It took some tough things in your life for you to come to your senses but you discovered what fills the voids in our lives and that can only be done through a relationship with God. Thanks for sharing your story and your advice to not wait to learn about developing a relationship with God. Gary Rogers