Saturday, July 19, 2014
For Patrolman Michael Bateman of Summerville, working at the police department is a family affair.
“My dad is an officer (a lieutenant) here too for 23 years,” the 21-year-old said. “He started me in the Explorer program here and I did that from when I was 14 until I was hired.”
Born and raised in Summerville, Bateman graduated from Fort Dorchester High School in 2010. After three years at USC earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, he was back at the police department nine days later.
“At first I wanted to be an engineer, but I realized that was kind of dull,” he said. “I like being involved with people, I like talking with them and helping them.”
Bateman is Taser, radar and pepper spray certified. He’s also a data master and is trained to perform standard field sobriety tests.
The main functions of his job include traffic stops, which he admits he loves: “I like driving traffic stops for safety reasons, but I also like it when you find the bad stuff like drugs.”
Performing traffic stops and hearing “thank you” from members of the public are his favorite parts of the job.
His worst experience so far was responding to a suicide call.
“When we got there the gentleman had already done it,” he said. “Suicides are the worst. I just hate the idea of it; to me I feel like nothing could ever be so bad you’d need to do that.”
As far as goals, Bateman is “playing it by ear.”
“I have a lot to look forward to. I’d be glad to be chief one day, or go into federal work.”
At home, Bateman spends most of his time with his family and his 3-year-old Pit Bull-Boxer mix, Buster. After college he moved home with his parents. “I would like to be a homeowner within the next two years.”
Bateman said even though he grew up in Summerville he has no plans to leave.
“It’s a very friendly community. And you see how much the town does for community events, like the Fourth of July and ghost walks.”
For fun, Bateman spends his time on the water. “I do surf… well, I try to,” he said.
He also likes to spend time at his family’s lake house, fishing, boating and tubing. He also spends free time cheering on the Gamecocks, playing softball on a co-ed league and reading about cars.
His long term goals include checking things off his bucket list, like skydiving and traveling.