Monroe graduate Abby (McCollum) Campbell is one of six former University of Detroit Mercy athletes currently working in law enforcement.
DETROIT – When you decide to work in law enforcement, you think you know what you're getting yourself into.
After all, we all watch COPS, we all see police action in the news, we know the job is tough, the job is scary, but we all have a good idea on what the job entails.
That is until something comes up that you never thought about -- a global pandemic.
That is what a few former University of Detroit Mercy student-athletes are dealing with right now in their law enforcement careers, on top of what the regular job that comes with the position. They do that while living up to the oath embraced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police:
"On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community, and the agency I serve."
Monroe High graduate Abby (McCollum) Campbell is one of six former Titan athletes currently working in law enforcement.
The others are: Sarah (Martinez) of Flint Powers (Class of 2013, track & field and cross country, Michigan State Police), Demeisha Fambro of Detroit Crockett (Class of 2013, women's basketball, Detroit Police), Joe Gifford of Pontiac Notre Dame (Class of 2015, men's lacrosse, Detroit Police), Tyler Harper of Baldwin (Class of 2016, men's lacrosse, New York City Department of Corrections) and Brandee Hart of Berkley (Class of 2014, track and field, Michigan State Police).
Campbell, a 2014 Detroit-Mercy graduate, is a constable for the Guelph Police Service in Guelph, Ont.
She was one of the most decorated student-athletes in Titan history having been the only Titan to ever play four sports at the school (soccer, lacrosse, softball and basketball).
As a member of the Detroit Police Department, she once talked a potential suicide jumper off the ledge of a highway overpass and she is now helping people through this pandemic in Canada.
"A law enforcement career is high risk, not only because of this pandemic at the moment but every day," said Campbell. "Officers are thrown into situations with individuals they don't know, unaware of the abilities people may have.
“With that being said, a career in law enforcement is nothing but an honor, we get to help people in their darkest moments, they trust us to come and help them when they need us most. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for it and I've never second-guessed that decision. I am here to serve and do the best possible job I can, that's what all of us strive to do.”
Her job has changed during the past few months.
“During this pandemic especially, COVID-19 has impacted everyone in some way or another and all of us are here to be supportive while keeping our communities as safe as possible," she said.
Campbell was an All-Conference performer in soccer and helped that squad to four-straight winning campaigns, a share of the regular-season crown and four trips to the Horizon League Championship semifinals.
"Soccer prepared me for every obstacle in life, it's a team sport and the people I work with are not only my team now, but it's a family, we all hold the line together," said Campbell. "Soccer gave me the ability to be confident in myself, my decision-making processes and my overall physical fitness, all of these things tie into my job now. We often make split-second decisions that are very important and soccer prepares you to always be on your toes for what's coming next."
Campbell would go on to play basketball, lacrosse and softball too when the teams needed players and she loved to compete and, above anything else, she loves to help and make a difference and that guided her to where she is today.
"My decision to pursue law enforcement did not come to me until my sophomore year of college," said Campbell. "I thought I wanted to be a social worker, but then I took some criminal justice classes and eventually obtained my undergraduate degree in criminal justice, however, the real root of becoming a police officer came from my father. He was a Southern Baptist preacher who was a servant himself, he would give the shirt off his back for others and I saw his empathy and compassion and knew that I not only wanted to, but needed to give back to others in some way or another.
“We all have a duty to take care of each other and this is just my way of showing my gratitude in getting to help people every single day."
Her journey in law enforcement has already been adventurous and fulfilling, but this is just the start and she plans to keep on serving her community proudly.
"I am three years into my law enforcement career and I have had the opportunity to work as a patrol officer, a crime analyst and a crisis negotiator with the City of Detroit. In 2019, I moved to Canada and I am currently assigned to patrol and am very content with staying on patrol for a long time.
“I have had experience in other units, however, I feel like I do my best work being in the streets. I'm sure I will move on to other things throughout my career but I love being on the road and answering the unknown calls because it makes every day different, not one day is the same, that's what I love most."