Fairfield’s 3 newest officers come from backgrounds including Obama detail, college football

Two of Fairfield’s three newest police officers were once assigned to protect and escort former President Barack Obama.

The third played offensive line for the University of Tennessee football team.

Connor Frazier, 26, and Jeremiah Taylor, 33, are now riding with a field training officer, which can last at least four months. Darin Gooch, 28, is set to start his police academy training later this month. All three, who were also looking at other departments, said they chose the Fairfield Police Department in part because of the culture.

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Though law enforcement has “always interested” the former college football player, he chose to go with a higher-salaried career working as an operations manager for Norfolk-Southern Railroad where he wore “many hats,” including investigating causes of derailments, employee injuries and crossing accidents.

But police work has always “been in the back of my mind” since he graduated as a logistics major at Tennessee.

Frazier, 26, grew up in Harrison, an Ohio town on the southwest border with Indiana, and enlisted in the Marines at 18.

“I always wanted to be a Marine and a police officer,” said Frazier, who left the Marine Corps in October 2017 as a corporal.

Frazier had a “gut feeling” after his interview with Fairfield to go there over other departments.

“They really care about the small stuff,” he said. “And if you care about the small stuff and you’re squared away there, then you’ll be squared away when the big stuff hits.”

Frazier joined his family’s Marine legacy when he enlisted. His grandfather fought as a Marine in Guadalcanal, and his older brother was a twice-deployed Marine. He was a crew chief of an Osprey helicopter, and his training class was assigned to the presidential support squadron responsible for transporting the president.

He was assigned to that detail for about four years during Obama’s administration, which earned him the Presidential Service Badge.

After the Marines, Frazier worked as a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office corrections officer for several months before being hired on at Fairfield.

“I love being a part of something bigger, and helping people,” he said.

Taylor was also interviewing with other agencies. He chose Fairfield because he wanted a change and work in an unfamiliar area “to really challenge myself,” and the department’s mission statement incorporates “integrity” and “excellence,” which is a part of the Air Force’s core values.

A third reason was police Chief Steve Maynard.

“The chief is a lot different than a lot of other agencies I was applying for,” Taylor said. “A good people-person, easy to talk to.”

Taylor joined the Air Force in 2008 and was a military police officer for 11 of his 12 years in the military. In 2012, he was assigned to a presidential detail with the Secret Service.

“I always had a taste for law enforcement,” said Taylor, a native of Xenia, about an hour north of Fairfield.

Taylor was twice deployed, the first time in 2010 to 2011 to Baghdad.

The second time was in 2016 to 2017 in Qatar, where he earned Air Force Commendation Medal. Among the efforts that earned him his highest military medal includes being “instrumental in securing $10 billion in war-fighting assets,” securing 66 aircraft, and evacuated 1,000 people when a suspicious package was discovered.

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Taylor, a technical sergeant, transitioned from the Air Force to the Air National Guard, completed his civilian police academy training in March in Green County.

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