Salute the Badge: Longtime Topeka Police Officer takes on a new career

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TOPEKA, Kan (WIBW) --- Maj. Darin Scott's office at the Topeka Police Department is known as a safe and inviting space. He is always listening and encouraging others.

It is something he found he loved to do when working as a hostage crisis negotiator. "And that sparked my interest, and we can help people if we listen," he said.

As his more than 30 year career with the department winds down, Maj. Scott wanted to do something that allowed him to continue to listen.

"So I've decided I wanted to become a therapist, and one of the programs out there was marriage and family therapy," he said.

He went back to school in 2016.

"I was also seeing clients, and I was also here at the department running a full-time job as a commander at the Topeka Police Department," Maj. Scott explained.

While he received a lot of support from his family and the department there were others who doubted his decision.

"I think there was some skepticism that I couldn't make a transition or come in line with the thought processes of dealing with people and their emotions in a therapeutic situation," he explained.

However, he continued because he wanted to help people including other officers who may struggle with the things they see while on the job.

"I've seen law enforcement suffer high suicide rates, divorce rates, and alcoholism, and any types of self-medication," he said.

Maj. Scott hopes one day 60% of his clients will be officers.

"If you could go to somebody that that you knew exactly what you're going through or close to it, and they've worked through it," Maj. Scott explained. "And then they have also skills to help you or at least give you those skills, educate you more so you can handle what's going on I think you would go to that person. I know I would."

Just a few years after he took on a new path, Maj. Scott is now one step closer to a new career.

"I graduated at the end of July in 2018 with my master's and finished up my internship in the first two weeks of August," he said.

As he finishes up his time with the Topeka Police Department, Maj. Scott continues shares all that he's learned.

"We've learned to teach leadership classes through the processes of the theories I've learned. I've applied it everyday," he explained. "I apply it every time I talk to one of my employees. I teach those processes to my commanders so they're more successful with their subordinates and they're employees, and I'm also leading by example."

Maj. Scott is hoping to be a licensed therapist by the time he retires from the department within the next year.