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Rookie Officer Trades Keyboard For Badge

Publish Date 08/09/2023
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Collin Hughes was paid to be at the NFL Draft in Kansas City.

The former college football player, who grew up in one of the sport’s hotbeds, Florida, was in his environment in April, meeting fans from all over the country while representing KCPD.

That was exactly why he left his desk job as an IT manager. That job, he admits, left him bored despite earning a computer science degree.

“As an officer, I get to see everything that happens in this town up close and personal, and I’m usually one of the first persons there,” Hughes explained. He loves being involved, being in the city.

That’s why Hughes chose to serve at KCPD. He wanted to be in a metropolitan city with big city vibes. He wanted to experience everything that makes Kansas City great. Still, how could Hughes have imagined he’d live, no less serve in KC?

After high school, Hughes played football at Graceland University in Iowa for a couple of years before attempting to play at the University of Northern Iowa. There he learned that he liked just being a “normal” student.

With a degree and career in hand, Hughes transferred to Kansas City. On paper, everything was right. In his heart, there was some emptiness. Growing up in a law enforcement family, Hughes always considered public service, but stiff-armed it. Until he couldn’t any longer. Until George Floyd. Until he chose happiness.

Hughes graduated from the police academy in November of 2022. He has served at Central Patrol since then, learning, “You have to have an open mind and a willingness to sacrifice for someone you don’t know.”

Strangers, however, don’t really exist with Hughes. Driving near Admiral Blvd. and The Paseo recently, Hughes spotted people having a party, and parked his patrol car. Naturally, he started dancing with the group, adding to festivities. He is all about KC.

The work-life balance Hughes is managing will soon have an extra layer. Hughes and his wife are expecting their first child. The dad-to-be, though, feels ready, already demonstrating, through his service, what an open heart can accomplish.

“You leave fulfilled every day,” Hughes said. “Somedays, I really made a difference in someone’s life. Or I changed history or prevented history. You never know what you’re walking into every day.”

 KCPD has openings for police officers. Apply here.