Holly Necessary has been working as a park naturalist at the Lake Cumberland State Resort Park for several years and, she will be quick to tell, loves what she does. It couldn’t be a better job.
However, Necessary had been thinking a long time about making a career change and on Monday, she took the big leap and began her first week as an officer with the Columbia Police Department.
“I loved working at the park, but it just wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped,” Necessary said. “This is something I have always wanted to do. My wife is in law enforcement and my brother-in-law is, too.”
Necessary, 32, is also a private personal trainer in the Jamestown area.
“I know people that pursue this career are a lot younger than me, but I think my age actually benefits me in a way because I am a little more seasoned and mature,” Necessary said. “I have learned some life lessons and how to not sweat the small things. I have learned to try to navigate situations with as much integrity as possible.”
She isn’t too worried about making the transition. Physically, Necessary feels she’s on point. She thinks she’s going to have to study up on the other points of the job.
“I have to learn the rules and regulations, the laws. What stresses me out is it is a lot of responsibility. I don’t want to make a wrong decision and potentially impact a
person’s life negatively,” said Necessary. “I take the whole ‘protect and serve’ thing very seriously. I want to help people.”
She also said she’s excited about being the only woman in the department and the only female city officer for decades. Necessary said she’s worked in male-dominated fields before and believes the position of police officer comes down to just showing up and doing your job.
“In the first week with the Columbia Police Department you ride with someone, and they critique you as you go through some growing pains,” Necessary said. “I appreciate them doing that. It is import- ant to them that I am ready to represent the department and the community the best I can.”
Necessary is expected to start training at the police academy in Richmond on May 22.
“I really want people to know I am proud to be a part of the community,” Necessary said. “I am proud to serve. I will do my best to make them proud and to protect and serve the community.”
By Scott Wilson