By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Kingwood man who lost 200 pounds to pursue his dream job of being a law enforcement officer was sworn in Tuesday as a deputy constable for Montgomery County Pct. 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden.
Chad Dodge, 42, who calls himself an accidental reporter and social media tech for Kingwood.com and its sister sites, said his interest in a law enforcement career came about after befriending public information officers (PIOs) for various law enforcement agencies, including Lt. James Slack, Hayden’s PIO.
“When I was hired to run the social media sites in 2015, I got close to several law enforcement officers. Before that I didn’t have a lot of friends and family who were police officers,” Dodge said. “Every time I talked to them for stories, I thought it was something I wanted to do.”
The final push in that direction came when he was asked by Hayden to lead a citizen’s police academy. However, weighing 470 pounds, he knew he would never become a peace officer without making some drastic changes to his life.
“I started on my own by taking out sodas and sugars from my diet over a period of a couple of months. Then I met with a bariatric surgeon, Dr. Now Zaradan. I had surgery in 2017 on the very day that Hurricane Harvey arrived,” he said. “Then I started losing weight and working out. A year later, after the surgery, I started the police academy class at Houston Community College – Northeast.”
The 10-month course was grueling – five nights a week and 3 to 4 hours per night. Though he was committed to the training, he said missing out on time with his children and wife, Angela, was the hardest sacrifice.
Now a lean 230 pounds, a weight he has maintained by sticking to a regimented diet and workout plan, Dodge is ready for what comes next in his new law enforcement career. He also will remain involved with the social media websites.
With months of field training ahead of him, he is excited about future opportunities to join the swift water rescue team and the special response team. When asked if he is concerned about entering the career at an older age than other rookies, Dodge said he feels his age and background are advantages in some ways.
“I think my age helps me. My ability to talk to people and not wear my politics on my sleeve makes me a good moderator for a social media website and those are skills I can use as a police officer,” he said. “At my class, the rest of the group called me Dad even though I wasn’t the oldest one in the class. They even asked me to give the speech at the end of the class. I thought it was a great honor.”
Dodge believes it is never too late for a person to chase their dreams. However, they must adopt a ‘never quit’ attitude and strive for the goal every day.
“You have to chase your dreams even if you feel at times that you don’t have an aspiration,” he said. “I joined a free men’s workout group called F3 and the term we use is ‘DFQ’, which stands for ‘Don’t F’in Quit.’ I have adopted that ideology. If you want to do something like this, you will find a way and move forward.”