First Responder of the Week: Strickland transitions to investigator

Published 10:43 pm Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Growing up as a child, people ask all the time “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Over the years that answer usually changes, but it never did for John Strickland.

Strickland always knew he wanted to be an investigator when he grew up, and now he’s getting that chance with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.

“I said I’ve always wanted to be in investigations since I was a child. I wanted to be a detective, or an investigator as we call them at the sheriff’s department,” Strickland said.

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“I always wanted to catch the bad guy and help people. That’s what I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid, to help people and put the bad people in jail.”

Strickland has been with the department for 10 years as a deputy and patrolman, but he started transitioning into the detectives department in January.

“I always wanted to be in law enforcement, but I was trying to make up my mind between that and teaching. And when I came here, they let me do both,” he said.

Strickland is a firearms instructor and is about to teach CPR classes.

Strickland said the job can be tough, but his fellow deputies make it a little easier.

“Everybody says it’s a tight family, and it really is. The guys that I work with, they’re like my family,” Strickland said.

“I have been in situations before where I didn’t have to call, they just showed up to help me and back me up. They will break their back to help you.”

The late Chief Deputy Randy Pugh gave Strickland his start, and he said it’s something he’ll always be grateful for.

“I came to Randy Pugh and said, I want to do this, and the man gave me a chance and sent me to the academy. I wont ever forget that,” Strickland said.

“It meant a lot to me. He gave me a shot and it meant a lot that he did.”

Since he was given the opportunity to serve the citizens of Dallas County, Strickland has tried to make the best of every day doing a job he loves.

“I love this county and city. Despite some of the bad reps that you hear, there are good people here,” Strickland said.

“I’m planning on staying here and helping them as long as I can. This is my home and I want to serve it.”