A California woman finally graduating from college invited a police officer who arrested her for drug possession to her ceremony, saying the officer’s arrest scared her into turning her life around.
Tiffany Hall is excited to finally graduate from college this year, but she has one person, in particular, to thank for her success: a police officer who arrested her for drug possession five years ago.
Hall says that Long Beach Police officer Jim Foster arrested her at a low point in her life. But the arrest was just what she needed to rethink her path.
“I want to thank Lt. Jim Foster for his respect and his compassion and the empathy that he showed to me and anyone he came in contact with,” Hall said at a press conference hosted by the Long Beach Police Department headquarters in California, according to ABC News.
In fact, Hall notes that officer Foster often tried to counsel her to make better decisions.
“He would encourage me all the time, ‘Tiffany, you can do better than this. Tiffany, why don’t you try to go to school? Tiffany, why don’t you stop?'” she told the media.
Grateful for all his efforts to encourage her to change her life, Hall was pleased to offer the officer an invitation to her graduation ceremony.
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Foster said.
“The biggest joy of my professional career is from time to time having contact with people who have found their way out of horrible circumstances and into life’s success, things that a lot of us just take for granted for people who have a much rougher life story,” the officer added.
Hall insisted that this was just the beginning. “I tell myself every day, ‘Don’t look back behind because there’s nothing back there. You gotta keep looking forward.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.