Sports

West football coaches now on the front lines

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Cranston West assistant football coaches Nick DeMarco and Anthony St. Laurent were each recently sworn in as local police officers, with DeMarco joining the Warwick Police Department and St. Laurent joining the force in Johnston.

“It felt like a dream come true. From the minute I decided I wanted to be a police officer, a lot of work was put into my studies in Criminal Justice, getting into shape, and sacrificing a lot of time to prepare myself for the hiring process, and all of the steps leading up to the academy,” said DeMarco.

St. Laurent added: “It feels great. It felt even better to be surrounded by the people who gave me the opportunity to begin my career. A lot of hard work went into becoming a police officer. I have a good support system at home, people who have stood by me even in the most difficult times. I also have great mentors in and out of law enforcement who have guided me thus far. I’m grateful for many things and a lot of people.”

As he begins his new career on the frontlines, DeMarco hopes to serve the community while establishing positive relationships between the force and civilians.

“My goal as a police officer is to make a positive difference in the community, and to have that reputation as a well respected officer. I may be dealing with someone who is having the worst day of their life, and it might be my one interaction with them that changes their life positively forever. I don't want people to be afraid of me, I want people to understand my job is to serve and protect the community,” said DeMarco.

St. Laurent looks forward to getting to work and learning the ropes.

“I have many goals as I begin my career. However I never want to stop learning. I want to learn something new everyday. I feel as if that is the only way you can get better at what you do. I hope to have a positive impact by bringing my very best everyday to the community,” said St. Laurent.

The pair have known each other for a number of years. Both are from Cranston and were teammates during their playing days for the Falcons.

Each were happy to achieve their goals alongside each other, which has made their bond even stronger over the past few months.

“Ant and I stayed in contact throughout the whole academy process. To go through the academy with my former teammate at Cranston West was an incredible opportunity,” said DeMarco. “We both had that mentality of hard work, leadership, and team work from football. To know he was there made the academy experience a lot more memorable. I remember texting Ant right after our last day at the academy, and telling him he was truly a brother to me after all that we went through together.”

St. Laurent added: “It’s pretty ironic that we ended up playing together, coaching together, and going through the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy together. We have a connection and can look back on that one day and say we went through challenging and demanding times together.”

DeMarco hopes that the lessons he learned from playing and coaching football, including being a leader and working hard, will translate into his new role.

“Playing football taught me how to be a leader, control my effort, and how to work hard. When I started coaching I kept those traits, and learned how to have a command presence, and make decisions in stressful situations. These are all characteristics that are extremely important in policing. This job requires a lot and football has prepared me for all of it. I always told the players I've coached that the only thing you can control in life is your effort, and it was important to me during this process that I didn't quit, and that I gave all my effort to get where I am to show them that if they work hard, they can succeed in whatever they want to do in life,” said DeMarco.

St. Laurent will also bring his strong work ethic to Johnston and looks forward to earning his peers’ respect.

“You need to earn everything. Nothing is given to you. When playing football you need to earn the respect from your teammates and coaches. When coaching football, you need to earn the respect from your fellow coaches and the kids you coach. And as for becoming a police officer you need to earn everything and prove you belong,” said St. Laurent. “In football, you need to come to work everyday no matter what task is thrown at you. I will need to bring that same attitude and work ethic to my new career as well.

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