WAHOO – In the third grade, David Page’s teacher had all of her students write a letter to their future selves. After graduation, the teacher mailed these letters to the students.
When Page opened the letter from his youth, he remembered how much he’d always wanted to be a police officer.
“I knew since I was a little kid it’s what I wanted to do,” he said.
His grandfather was town marshal in Fort Calhoun in the early 1970s, so Page was familiar with law enforcement in small towns.
After graduating from Blair High School in 1999, Page worked a few jobs before landing as a corrections officer, first at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution and later at the Nebraska Corrections Youth Facility in Omaha.
In 2011, he took a job as a deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. He worked there for six and one-half years before taking a job with the Omaha Police Department.
Page was with OPD for less than a year, leaving law enforcement for a short time because of family reasons. He wanted to keep his certification intact, so he took a part-time job as an officer in Yutan last April.
In between working for Omaha and starting in Yutan, he started his own private investigation business, called DJP Private Investigations. Operating out of his rural Washington County home, Page is a licensed private investigator. So far his cases have mostly centered around custody issues, he said.
Page joined the Wahoo Police Department on Sept. 9. Since then, he has quickly become familiar with the community and its residents. Having worked in Washington County and growing up in Blair, he is accustomed to cities the size of Wahoo.
So far, his patrols have been pretty routine, with traffic violations, calls for service and an occasional suspicious individual.
“It can be anything from unlocking a car to a domestic disturbance to rescue calls,” he said.
What he likes is the variation from day to day.
“Every day is different,” he said. “That’s one of the big things I like about the job.”
He is trained in several areas of law enforcement, including DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training), instructor certification, pressure point control tactics, active shooter instruction certification and school resource officer training.
“I’ve always been a fan of training and trying to get as many classes as I could get approved for,” he said.
He has also taken criminal justice classes at Metro Community College and Bellevue University, and is close to earning a degree, he said.
Working as a law enforcement officer gives Page a sense of accomplishment when he’s had a positive interaction with a citizen.
“Working in the various communities I’ve been in, I have the opportunity to be a positive influence in somebody else’s life and help somebody out in a tough situation,” he said.
Page was hired when Sean Vilmont was promoted to lieutenant on Aug. 1, according to Wahoo Police Chief Bruce Farrell.
Farrell said Page’s law enforcement experience made him a good fit for the department.
“We picked the best applicant we had and I think he’ll work out very well for the city of Wahoo,” Farrell said.
There are seven total full-time officers on the Wahoo Police Department, including Farrell.