At 56, officer is WPD’s oldest rookie

Sometimes, it can take a while to realize your dream. For one man his dream was to become a police officer. And he didn’t let his age stand in the way. Officer Laurence Egerton is one of Wilmington’s finest. You’d think Officer Egerton had been on the job for many years. At 56, Officer Egerton is the Wilmington Police Department‘s oldest rookie.

Officer Egerton does have a lot of life experience, just none in law enforcement.

After a few years as an auto mechanic Egerton did three years in social work.

He then segued into the corporate realm. At the same time, he was going to college nights and weekends and achieved his bachelor’s degree at the age of 31.

Ultimately Egerton became a “Meineke man,” owning a muffler dealership in Connecticut.

A year ago, he and his wife of 33 years, decided it was time to make a change…

Egerton said, “We were retiring. I sold my business and we wanted a better way of life. We wanted to get away from the northerners, who are a little bit crazy, and we wanted to come down to Wilmington, where we have family.”

He learned that Wilmington had lifted its age restrictions on becoming a cop.

Wilmington Police Department Chief Ralph Evangelous said, “Age is irrelevant, as long as you can do the job.”

Egerton said, “So I was able to apply at age 55 and go through training, and I went through training that everyone goes through.”

Egerton achieved the high score on the exam.

Chief Evangelous said, “It’s important to understand we did not lower standards. Our physical fitness standards are the same, our testing standards are the same, he went through police academy, same.”

When you’re in your fifties, transition isn’t always easy. Officer Egerton takes life one step at a time.

Categories: New Hanover

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