Cedartown, Ga.- December 29, 2015: Andre Nicholson really can’t remember a time in his life when he didn’t want to be a police officer. “I think I was always interested in being an officer and working in law enforcement,” Andre recalled. “For me, the best part of it is helping people.”
If we had a time machine, we could fly back to 1997, when Andre was a junior in high school. We would watch a young(er) Andre sign up for the Cedartown Police Department Explorer Program and witness the spark of dedication that would soon set fire to a lifelong career. The Explorer’s program caters to middle school and high school boys and girls who are interested in law enforcement. Needless to say, the program was a perfect fit for Andre. He was one of the program’s first members.
Within two years of graduation from high school — two years that included service as the city’s dog catcher — Andre completed and graduated from the police academy and was hired on as an officer at the Cedartown Police Department.
These days, Andre serves as a sergeant. In his role, he ensures that other officers have the training and certifications needed to be the best they can be. And as fate would have it, Andre now coordinates the very program that started him off on his police career — the Explorer Program. “I have about 10 or 11 boys and girls that I work with in the program,” he explained. “All of them seem genuinely interested in continuing in law enforcement work.” Most folks have seen the Explorers out and about, serving the community while learning about the duties of an officer. “They help a lot during parades and special events, and they also travel to competitions every year to show off what they’ve learned.”
When he’s not serving the residents of Cedartown or mentoring future cops, Andre enjoys cooking. He’s well known for firing up the grill outside the police precinct, sizzling and serving up burgers and steaks.