Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Some may say that 64-year-old Daniel Donovan, a retired lawyer, could spend his remaining years fishing, golfing or whatever he feels like but when Daniel saw that his hometown police department needed officers, he decided to part of the solution.
“I saw a lot of police departments losing people, not able to hire more people,” Donovan said Thursday. “I thought my health is still good, my children are grown and I still have a few good years ahead, and I have some skills that may be useful for the Harrisburg Bureau of Police,” he told Penn Live.
Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg made Donovan the city’s oldest police cadet on record, as well as the oldest cadet to participate in a Harrisburg Area Community College police academy, according to college officials.
Donovan is scheduled to start six months of academy training January 9. Officials said the next oldest cadet the college has seen was 51.
Police Commissioner Thomas Carter said Harrisburg does not have an age limit on who can join the force.
Before becoming a police officer, Donovan served for 21 years as an attorney in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps. His naval career was followed by 13 years as a senior civilian attorney with the U.S. Department of Defense.
Before he could enter the police academy, Donovan had to undergo interviews, background checks and medical evaluations. He also had to complete a physical agility exam that included push-ups, sit-ups, and timed 300-yard and 1.5-mile runs.
Carter said he wants younger people to be inspired to pursue law enforcement careers after watching Donovan enter the police force in his 60s.
Donovan said he hopes his career change is evidence for people of all ages that anything is possible with grit and determination.