Top First Responder: Jay Schultz
Sept. 26, 2012 at 4:26 a.m.
When did you decide you wanted to be a DPS trooper?
I became interested in law enforcement when I was between 12-15 years old. I remember traveling down to the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo on U.S. 281 and U.S. 59 with my family and seeing Texas state troopers searching cars looking for narcotics. I knew at a young age I would love to find large amounts of drugs and money, along with catching serious/violent criminals. In 2001, when I became a dispatcher/jailer for the Karnes County Sheriff's Office and began doing ride-a-longs with DPS, it confirmed my desire to become a state trooper.
How long have you been a DPS trooper?
Six and a half years, and a city police officer for four years
Most gratifying part of your job?
From changing someone's flat tire in the pouring down rain, to finding one kilo of cocaine in an engine, to thousands of pounds of marijuana in a 18 wheeler or running down a felon for miles on horseback with tracking dogs, my job is always exciting and is never the same. I can't explain the feeling by scoring a touchdown or knocking one over center field does not compare to the rush of saving a life or finding a large drug/money seizure.
Hardest part during your training?:
There is nothing easy about a 28 week DPS Academy whether your working out, in class, trying to eat a meal or being woke up in the middle of the night. I found myself doing push ups every time I turned around. The hardest day in training for me was when I was given more than 600 push ups to be done by dinner on top of our regular work outs. I couldn't eat dinner or go to bed until they were all done. Thank God for having a loving and supportive wife, who encouraged and cheered me on while I was gone.
How do you de-stress from work?:
I find myself spending my off time outside welding, wood working, re-furnishing motorcycles and barbecuing.
What hobbies/interests do you have? ?
Hunting is my No. 1 hobby. I started out hunting with my father at 4 years old and I have very fond memories of those times with my dad and I have implemented the outdoors into my family and hope my kids will have just as many or more memories than I have. Who is your hero and why?
My father and my mother are my heroes.
My father is my hero because he began working on a oil rig at 17 years old as a roughneck and is now a consultant. Shortly after he began working, he started our family. I consider the oil field one of the hardest manual labor jobs a man can have. He has experienced the absolute worst times of the oil field, but he always seemed to keep our home together while he made sure we did not do without. He is a living example of hard work, dedication and sacrifice, of starting out at the bottom and earning his way to the top.
My mother is also my hero. She was a stay-at-home mother who fought through every tough time my father endured, but also many more while she raised me and my sister while he was gone supporting our family. She held on and won every battle that came her way and kept a home together. She instilled values in us that are often overlooked to this day, but those values have helped carry me this far into my career.
I would have never made it without the support of my parents and the values that they both instilled into me.
With holidays around the corner, what is on the top of your wish list this year?
I don't wish for anything other than good health and a happy family. I have learned that it is not about the size or price of a gift, but it is about having a happy and supportive family who are content with what they are blessed with.
Did you believe in Santa Claus? If so, how old were you when you stopped believing in Santa Claus?
I did believe in Santa and at the age of 11, my best friend told me that he didn't exist. I made my mom tell me the truth and I was just devastated for three whole days.
My kids believe in Santa and I want them to for as long as possible.
What are three things that you could not live without?
Christianity, family and good barbecue.