Jacob Campos, a South Carolina native, is a sociology major with a concentration in criminology and a minor in legal studies at Winthrop University. His passion and decision to embark into that major stemmed from the attraction of the police force–but not just because of the abundance of crime shows on television.
The Campos family is filled with police officers and has been for decades. Campos’ father is a York County sheriff, and is not only an awesome father, but is a great role model and is the biggest reason behind why Campos chose the major he’s in.
“It’s pretty much where my life has lead for the most part because my dad has been both in the military and the police…and that’s just something I’ve always been around and something I’ve always had passion in,” Campos said.
However, with all of the negativity in the news lately regarding the police force, it makes it hard to admit to wanting to join the force. But, regardless, Campos wanted to share his side of the story–the side that rarely gets talked about.
“People are so quick to judge the police, thinking that they’re there to be evil and make everyone’s lives harder,” Campos said, “But the truth is, they’re there to protect us.”
Campos explains that he wishes people didn’t expect police to be perfect because the truth is, nobody is perfect. “They aren’t robots, so I don’t know why everyone expects them to be,” Campos said. “They’re simply there to protect us.”
Other than taking his required courses with hopes of becoming an officer one day, Campos is very involved on campus with his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha, and is in BCM, the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, both which provide a great sense of belonging and community–and support.
Campos said that the BCM on campus helped everyone cope with the protests that happened in Charlotte a few weeks ago, providing conversation and understanding about why it all was happening.
“Honestly BCM is great for me. Even though I don’t go to the meetings, I do have a small group that I meet with. The group actually helps me a lot with all of the hate going on in the world, especially regarding the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement,” Campos said. “And, I think that’s the most interesting thing about Winthrop. It’s like, everybody here is very tolerant of different things and so it’s kind of given me a wide range of perspectives to look through, all regarding the discrimination and feuds.”
Even though the BCM and Winthrop community seems to have a wide range of perspectives to share with each other, Campos believes that not enough people outside of those communities have a wide enough perspective.
“I really just want people to think about the lives of the police officers,” Campos said. “A lot of people don’t understand what goes into being in a [police] family like that. My dad is just like anybody else; he put his pants on one leg at a time. He doesn’t think of himself as any higher than anybody else, and same goes for the other officers.”
Campos believes that police officers “don’t get any credit the way that they should.” He said that “there are always the sour apples that make all of the officers look bad” but not all of them are.
“People who hate the police can be very closed minded; they don’t understand their lives and that’s very frustrating. But these guys are just doing what they’ve been taught to do,” Campos said. “If I could just tell everybody one thing about police officers it would be that at the end of the day, all of these police officers just want to go back home to their families.”
Campos said that “roughly about 70% of these officers have families and have kids”, and a lot of those parents have to miss out on an important event because they’re keeping us safe. “I just want everybody to understand that they’re normal people with lives and stories and they’re just doing their jobs,” Campos said. “My dad and the other officers aren’t robots; he’s just a regular guy doing what he was born to do, the best way he can do it.”