August 6, 2013

Our Neighbors: Serving country and community

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — “I’m not one of those guys that grew up wanting to be a police officer,” said Sgt. Travis Dotson of the London Police Department.  “For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a U.S. Marine and serve my country.  I did that.  I loved the Marine Corps, but London is home.  It’s where my family is and I missed it here.”

Dotson joined the Marines in 1995, enlisting with an open contract.  He attended Marine Corps recruit training at Paris Island, S.C.  Upon graduation of basic training and the School of Infantry, Dotson was assigned to the Motor Transportation Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), and was sent to the 7th Engineer Support Battalion in San Diego, Calif.  

“I worked out of my MOS most of the time I was there.” Dotson said.  “We actually ended up running the battalion HAZMAT training course.”

Dotson served until the completion of his military contract in 1999.  After completing his service in the Marines, Dotson felt a strong desire to continue serving his country but wanted to be home as well.  He made the decision to continue his service by joining the National Guard as an Infantryman. 

After 9/11, Dotson’s Guard unit was activated and sent to Belgium to take over as the security force for the NATO Allied Command Operations Headquarters.  Dotson served in Belgium from 2001 to 2002. 

After returning home, Dotson began looking for work that would fit the specialty training he had received in the military.

“I really missed the ‘esprit de corps’ that comes with being in the military, but I wanted to be home too,” Dotson said.

In 2002, Dotson began serving the London community as a police officer.  He has served as a patrol officer, was the K-9 unit officer, worked with Kentucky State Police and the DEA as an interdiction officer and is currently serving as the School Resource Officer for South Laurel middle and high schools.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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