Shortly after high school, in 1995, I applied for and got a really good job with Woolworths. They employed me as a trainee store manager starting me in sales, and I was really good at it. The hours were great. They treated me well. I enjoyed the work. And the wages were terrific at the time for an 18-year-old.

But 9 months into that job, something didn’t feel right and I didn’t know what it was. It was haunting me.

One day during lunch, I for some unknown and unplanned reason, I walked down the street, and did something most would consider very strange. I walked into a police station and applied to become a police officer.

It wasn’t until I was accepted and spent a year on the Queensland Police Force that I started to understand what had been wrong with that job at Woolworths. Selling their merchandise was not what the good Lord put me on earth to do. It was not my real passion or my calling. Instead, I wanted to help people in a different way than selling them something they didn’t need. Serving as a police officer was about serving people. That was my calling. Leaving my footprint by changing the culture of an organization was my passion. Doing it by example was what the good Lord put me on earth to do.

I made a decision early in my career as to what sort of police officer and person that I was going to be, irrespective of my environment around me. I had an unbending and inflexible moral code, for which I sometimes paid a price.