SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Nathan Cantrell thought he was done with law enforcement after retiring from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
He was in his early 40s but had still qualified for full retirement and benefits. Cantrell spent three years away from police work until the job drew him back.
“You quickly realize it’s in you. You can’t walk away from the job,” Cantrell said.
He’s returned differently.
Cantrell teaches the revived law enforcement courses at the Daniel Morgan Technology Center in Spartanburg School District Three. It’s three semesters of courses.
Students who finish all the classes aren’t ready to become police officers, but they will have a huge head start when they attend the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
Classes focus on more than just what students need to know as future law enforcement officers.
“When you’re dealing with 10th, 11th and 12th graders, you not only show them what law enforcement does but also what’s expected of you as a citizen,” Cantrell told 7NEWS.
There is work in the classroom and live demonstrations outdoors. That includes simulated traffic stops with a potential suspect wanted for felonies such as bank robberies.
“Times have changed since I started,” according to Cantrell. “They’re more into the technology. They’re more into the CSI things, more than when I started. I would say still that fundamental good vs. evil. Everybody can relate to that.”
Cantrell spent 15 years at the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office. He brings a wealth of experience from years investigating narcotics, homicides and other violent crimes.
This might not be a case of law enforcement calling Cantrell back in, it could be a case of taking him where he needed to be.
“I will say this is, without a doubt, the best job on the planet. It took me time to be away from it to realize how much I miss law enforcement.”