Ricky DerBoghosian always knew he wanted a career in law enforcement.
“The affiliation with the Maine Criminal Justice Academy really made it easy for me to pick Thomas College,” he said.
Now, Ricky is a Maine Marine Patrol Officer for the Department of Marine Resources. He patrols from Belfast to Rockland, and he protects the resources by making sure people are following regulations.
Ricky most enjoys the relationships he’s built with local fishermen, but his job can also be difficult.
“The hardest thing about my job is trying to protect the resource, while also trying to help the fishermen who depend on it,” said Ricky. “I deal with people’s livelihoods. Sometimes you find yourself in a tight spot in different situations. It isn’t like a normal law enforcement career.
Everyone in the community I serve knows who I am. We see each other all the time, whereas in other law enforcement careers, you can pull someone over and never see them again.”
Ricky found his way to Marine Patrol through his time at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. When he first went to Thomas, he knew he wanted to get into conservation law and thought about the Warden Service.
He did not know that much about the Marine Patrol because he did not grow up on the coast.
“I spoke with other Marine Patrol officers going through the Academy with me and ended up going on a ride along,” he said. “After the ride along, I knew this was the career for me.”
Thomas helped prepare Ricky for his career because it is a small school.
“You learn how to talk to people when it’s a small school. Knowing how to talk to a person is one of the biggest things you need to be a Marine Patrol Officer,” he said.
Ricky was a first-generation student. In fact, he is the only person in his family to have graduated from college.
“I had a lot of pressure going to college. I didn’t know what to expect, so I was nervous,” he said. “The fact that I was a first-generation student made me want to succeed that much more. I wanted to make my family proud.”
Ricky said he would like to thank Thomas for everything the experience did for him.
“Thomas helped me a lot with both my career and my personal life,” he said. “If you have a dream, don’t give up on it. Keep pushing through the hard times and at the end, you’ll be where you want to be.”
*This story was originally published in the Winter 2018 Thomas Magazine.