Salute Our Heroes: Retired TPD Major embarks on new career in counseling

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 11:01 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Maj. Darin Scott wore many different hats in his 32-year career with the Topeka Police. Dept.

In his home, he has a display board filled with badges, and scores of pictures capturing memories, from motorcycle officer to crisis negotiator to captain to major, even assistant to the city manager and deputy police chief. Scott says he has enjoyed it all.

“That’s my example to my subordinates and fellow law enforcement officers is resilience,” he said. “You’ve got to step up. If you fall down, you’ve gotta get right back up.”

But there is the extreme stress. In his final years with the department, Scott, who is officially retiring this summer, went through schooling to become a certified family therapy counselor. His other passion dovetailed well with the search for conflict management and long term stress disorders.

“Children are physically and mentally abused; spouses are physically and mentally abused; murders, where you have to go see the families afterwards and get with them - that teaches you to be compassionate and to be empathetic,” he said.

Scott actually filled out his retirement paperwork even before the coronavirus pandemic and national debate over George Floyd’s death, systemic racism and Black Lives Matter. The discussion takes him back to a videotaped police confrontation a generation ago - an incident in Los Angeles that drew global rage in 1993.

“In ’93, it was the abuse of Rodney King and we had to go through a big transition at that time,” Scott said. “We all knew it. Law enforcement says ‘Oh, that’s not good. It’s terrible. I mean, what are they doing?’ And back then, we had to deal with it with the community, for many years, literally, many years. People would get a camera, tape this, back then though it was ’93, 94, ’95 and no cellphone cameras and things like that which we have today.”

Scott will take the next two months to decompress. He offered the newest officers this advice:

“Relish in your time off with your family, because if you get consumed by law enforcement, it becomes the only spoke in your wheel, and when that happens, the wheel begins to get lopsided and twisted out of shape and your life will resemble that, so don’t get consumed by it,” he said.

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