Career change lets Tozier chase boyhood dream
Belfast — While Jordan Tozier said he enjoyed the five years he spent as a teacher at Mount View Middle and High School, he is now entering a new phase in his professional life that has allowed him to pursue a childhood dream.
Tozier, a 2003 graduate of Mount View High School, recently completed more than four months of training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro to further his career as a deputy with the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.
Tozier said he started working for the sheriff’s office as a part-time officer during the summer of 2010, a job he took in addition to his duties at Mount View Middle and High School. Tozier was working for Regional School Unit 3 at that time, first as a middle school health and physical education teacher for four years and as a physical education teacher at the high school for his final year of teaching.
“I did it during the summers and on nights and weekends,” said Tozier of his start in law enforcement. “Then I got the opportunity this past summer to go full-time and I took it.”
Tozier, 27, said it didn’t take long for his new career choice to grow on him, especially since he’s been interested in that kind of work since he was a boy. He credited a few of his friends who were already working in law enforcement, such as Detective Jason Bosco, of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office and Micah Thurston, who worked for the Maine Warden Service, with helping him learn more about the job and encouraging him to give it a try.
“I spoke with those two, and they got me more interested,” said Tozier.
Tozier himself has experienced a lot of positive change in recent months, all of which came as he continued building his new career. He and his wife, Heather, are expecting their first child in the spring, and the couple recently purchased a home.
Being away at the academy for a few months presented a challenge for his young family, Tozier said, but overall they made the situation work as best they could until he finished his training in December.
“It’s tough, especially with a new home, and then we found out my wife was pregnant,” recalled Tozier. “It was tough being away Monday through Friday, but we made it work.”
Since completing his training, Tozier said, he has a better sense of what law enforcement entails. He now has the training he needs to assist his fellow officers with all kinds of situations, such as high-speed chases, and he continues to enjoy the variety that his position offers him on a daily basis.
“It’s definitely different than what I expected, but I mean, in a good way,” he said. “I really enjoy this job. Every day is different; you never know what you’re going to get from one day to the next.”
Tozier said he is also proud to work in a department that has several seasoned officers on its roster, all of whom he continues to learn from each day.
“It’s nice to come into a really good department like Waldo,” he said.
Tozier, who is the son of Jenny and Craig Tozier of Unity, said he wouldn’t trade his upbringing in the western Waldo County community.
“I had a great experience growing up in Unity,” said Tozier. “It’s not the smallest town in Waldo County, and it’s not the biggest, but it gave me all the opportunities I needed to be successful.”
And as a teacher, Tozier said, he saw about 700 students a year, which also gave him the chance to get to know the people in the region. That familiarity, he said, has been helpful when he must respond to a complaint as a deputy.
“Oftentimes I find myself dealing with some of the families that I know,” he said.
That scenario has taken some getting used to for his former students who have had the occasion to see him in uniform.
“The kids are used to seeing me in wind pants and a T-shirt,” he said with a smile.
Tozier, who earned a degree in physical education and kinesiology from the University of Maine at Orono, said there are many aspects of his new career that are similar to his former life in education.
“What I like about it is the positive impact I can have on people on a daily basis,” said Tozier. He has had many opportunities to educate citizens about the law and offer resources that are available in the community to those in need of help. “Being a teacher is pretty similar.”