By Irene Rotondo
If you were to have asked Tim Paenmuan 16 years ago what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would have said just what every other 10-year-old boy probably would have said: a police officer. However, unlike the other children at that age who eventually find out being a police officer requires hours upon hours of extra schooling and daily life-threatening work and consequently decide to pursue a different career, Paenmuan stuck to his childhood dream to make it his adult reality.
The day that changed Paenmuan’s life forever started with him just hanging out with his older brother. “I got into an argument with my older brother, and I called the cops on him because he wouldn’t let me change the channel on the TV,” stated Paenmuan. “The officer showed up,
he laughed it off, and he gave me a little badge sticker. From that point on, I always knew I wanted to be a police officer.”
Springfield College welcomed Officer Tim Paenmuan, 26, to the police force and Public Safety in September 2018. Before coming to Springfield, Paenmuan had been volunteering as a policeman in his hometown of Waltham for the past four years and still tries to help out whenever he has the change.
Paenmuan stated that with this position being his first full-time job after graduating from Bridgewater State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Training Alliance, working in close relations with the RA’s and students on-campus has been a learning experience for him.
“My favorite part about this is helping people, helping students, and building a connection with students, especially in situations that I have experience in that they have no experience with,” Paenmuan. “Being able to guide them with that, especially those involved in the Criminal Justice program here… it’s really rewarding.”
Paenmuan knew that in order to get a foot in the door to the world of law enforcement and to become successful, he had to start as soon as possible. Through the constant support of his parents, he began the aforementioned volunteering during his junior year of college which aided him in experience and general knowledge about what it really takes to be a police officer.
“I want to let students know that our department is always available to help. We are all very personable, so please if you see us on campus stop to say ‘hi,’ we always like to have a good talk with students. For students looking to become police officers, something less known is that your family also sacrifices a lot during the process,” Paenmuan said.
In the future, Paenmuan hopes to eventually become a police academy instructor. “I want to teach about criminal law and defensive tactics… it all goes back to the experience I had when I was younger. I like getting involved with the younger generations, the future generations, to help guide them into this career path.”