Imagine having a job where every day and every minute is different and the unknown can be deadly. That’s the way it is for Jeremy Weiss ’01, who is a detective assigned to the criminal investigations division in Connecticut.
“I truly have no idea what is going to happen from one minute to the next,” he says. “Within the course of an eight-hour period, I could be sitting and typing a case report one minute, and involved in a life-or-death struggle the next. It keeps me on my toes, and certainly keeps me alert.” He faced just such a life-or-death scenario this spring, which the Journal Inquirer in Connecticut captured in a photo in March.
A domestic abuse call came into the South Windsor, Conn., police department where he works. A man had gotten into a dispute with his family. After realizing that the police had been called, the man grabbed a gun and barricaded himself in the home.
“Once we were on scene, he threatened to kill any police officer who stepped on his property,” says Weiss. “The male subject eventually took his own life after several hours of a standoff. I arrived on scene to that call soon after the initial patrol response. I heard the on-scene officer’s call-out about what was unfolding, and I went to assist. I took a position on the exterior of the home and assisted with maintaining a secure perimeter. Once we learned that he took his life, it was then our job as detectives to process the death scene.”
Danger is just one of the bigger challenges of the job, but there are many others, he notes. “My challenges evolve with every scenario I am involved with. One day my challenge may be trying to get a confession from a robbery suspect, and another day I may be in a foot pursuit with a bank robber. My other challenges sometimes involve my family life. Quite often it is difficult to turn off the police mentality. There are times when my wife thinks I’m interrogating her, which she certainly doesn’t enjoy as much as a suspected burglar might.”
Weiss said he always knew he wanted to work in law enforcement. He majored in sociology because it was the degree most closely related to the work involved. After he graduated from Wheaton in 2001, he was hired by the South Windsor police department within a few months.
“I have many fond memories of Wheaton and often wish I was still there,” he says. “As far as life lessons, I learned that you get out of life and your career what you put in. You can sit back, coast and just get by, or you can make every effort to do your very best, and the results will be that much better.”