Middletown’s newest officer guided by George Floyd’s death to better community

Jamie Patterson’s decision to become an officer is about bringing change to her hometown.

Pandemic, purpose and George Floyd's death guided local woman towards policing

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Like many people around the country, Jamie Patterson reacted to the death of George Floyd last summer wanting change.

Not many of those people saw the protests that ensued as inspiration for a career path in law enforcement, but Patterson’s story bucks the trend.

The Middletown-native was 10 years removed from her criminal justice studies when the pandemic began. She’d worked in sports medicine and as a crossfit trainer in the meantime, but suddenly she found herself jobless and unmoored.

“I did those other interests for a little bit, and I just felt like I could not be fulfilled,” Patterson said of her previous jobs. “I didn’t know what my purpose was.”

That’s when she started back down the path of becoming a police officer, a decision for which she gives partial credit to Floyd’s death and the protests that swept through large swaths of the country afterwards.

“It just confirmed and reassured everything that I was doing was, like... it felt right,” she said.

David Birk is Middletown police chief.

“A lot of people saw that incident that occurred in Minneapolis, and they’re taking a proactive step in wanting to make change,” Birk said.

For Patterson, that meant returning to Middletown, where she grew up, and finding that sense of purpose.

“Bringing justice to the community, helping the community... You know, I am from here. I currently do live here. So, anything with protecting our citizens and reducing the crime rate is very fulfilling to me,” she said.

“I just felt like I couldn’t fulfill my purpose... This definitely fulfills my purpose.”

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