Carrboro officer talks about joining academy at 42 years old

CARRBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- Not too many police officers start the academy at 42 years old.

Lori McLamb did though.

"A lot of us aren't really put here to do one thing and it's never late to try," she said. "If it works out, great. You gotta give it a go and that's what I did."

After nearly 20 years in the medical field, she said she joined the police academy in Carrboro after moving with her husband and two kids from Florida to North Carolina.

"I had to scratch the itch. If not I wouldn't have been happy," she said.

McLamb said she thought about it before she turned 30 but she said having two small children made it too difficult. Her inspiration came from an officer she had as a patient in Jacksonville, FL.

"I literally thought the ship had sailed because, in most states, you age out," she said. "But, I found out in North Carolina that if you can pass the requirements of the academy that they'd be more than happy to have you. I was old enough to be many of cadets' mothers."

She said one other Carrboro officer went through the academy with her daughter, and another went through it at the age of 50.

"The multi-tasking is probably one of the hardest things I've ever done and learning a totally new trade at that age is not easy," McLamb said.

She's now a K-9 officer and said that took years of training to get up to speed.

It's one of the reasons she was also drawn to policing. McLamb worked with dogs for more than 15 years and volunteered for FEMA as a search and rescue handler.

"I was used to talking to people," she said. "It was just a different hat I was literally wearing and a different context. It's challenging. I've always been drawn to difficult things and I like the officers I work with. I like being able to serve my community and I like people. I find them interesting."
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