GREENSBORO, N.C. - Forty graduates took the oath and became Greensboro police officers Thursday - one of them inspired to join the department because of his daughter's work.
Fifty-three-year-old Buddy John Proffitt left behind a 35-year career in construction to join the force.
“For me, it was something I wanted to do back when I was a teenager,” Proffitt said. “I got married, had a family and ventured down another path.”
When Proffitt’s daughter Jensen joined the force about two years ago, he was inspired by her love for the job.
“It just kind of sparked that interest,” Proffitt said. “I think it's a calling and it's a calling I've been longing to do.”
Proffitt pinned his daughter's badge to her uniform during her graduation, and on Thursday, she was able to return the favor.
“It’s a feeling you can't express to have your daughter do something like that,” he said.
The father-daughter duo also share a distinct honor within the department: both were voted by classmates to receive an award in honor of a Michael G. Winslow, a fallen officer.
“When you get into the academy, it's like becoming a family and it is a family,” Proffitt said.
The 53-year-old felt right at home, even though he is a few years older than many of the recruits. Most of the people sworn into the department are between the ages of 30 and 39.
“The door was open for me and it was just meant to be,” Proffitt said.
He said with support from family, it can be meant for anyone else too.
“I think it's never too late,” Proffitt said.
The Proffitt family’s urge to protect and serve doesn't end with father and daughter. Buddy’s son is now looking to join the force, too. He starts the academy Friday.