Thursday, July 18, 2013
A father, a horticulturalist, a student, a husband and a police officer … Chris Hirsch, 29, of Summerville is also an expert juggler.
Hirsch juggles family, job, schooling and, when possible, leisure, with a sense of humor and upbeat attitude.
A relative newbie with a year and a half with the Summerville Police Department, Hirsch began his adult like not as a cop but as a horticulturalist.
“I grew up in Summerville and graduated from Strafford High School,” he said. “I then got an Associate’s Degree in Horticulture from Trident Tech. I love the outdoors, plants, grass, etc.”
Hirsch worked for Carolina Nurseries until it closed down.
“I have always wanted to be a police officer,” he said. So he went back to school and is now one semester away from a second degree in Criminal Justice.
“When Carolina Nurseries closed down, my wife made me do it.”
Hirsch’s wife, Tara, convinced him to pursue his long-standing desire to enter law enforcement, even though that meant they would both be students and parents. And working. No easy task.
“She backs me 100 percent,” said Hirsch. Tara is a full-time student studying physical fitness and hopes to also get qualifications as a dental hygienist.
Hirsch is dad to a seven-year-old son and step-dad to two teenage boys.
Hirsch works days at SPD, which involves a lot of calls for fraud, alarms, unattended deaths, collisions and traffic.
He’s had some “saves” and some eye-opening moments, he said.
He recalls a call where there was a elderly woman suffering a medical issue who was in her hot car, in and out of consciousness, unable to unlock the door so the EMS could get to her.
“We had to break the window,” said Hirsch, “but we got to her in time and she’s okay now.” This makes Hirsch smile…it’s what he, and most cops, love about the job.
He also recalls a recent home invasion in the Robynwyn sub division where he encountered his first shooting victim.
And then there was a foot chase after a concerned citizen called police about a man, sleeping on the ground at a gas station near Holiday Drive. After running the man’s name, Hirsch discovered he was wanted in Sumter for first-degree Burglary. The man took off and Hirsch and a No. Charleston police officer on his way to work, saw the chase and stopped to help, and chased the man from Holiday Drive, over the interstate overpass, before they finally caught him.
Hirsch grins as he tells the story.
In his off time, when he isn’t playing with his little boy, or in class, or studying, he tries to spend his time outdoors, working in the yard. He watches his son’s baseball and although he used to play, he hasn’t time anymore.
On the job, Hirsch wants to take more classes through the department and the police academy and perhaps move to the detective division.
He thinks that ultimately, his goal would be Field Training Officer or a supervisory position, as long as it involved the street. “I love the street.”
And his yard and garden? Best looking in the neighborhood!