Meet the officer: OPD’s Jeremy Larue

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee Police Department Officer Jeremy Larue was born in 1976 in Hyde Park, N.Y., just down the street from the home of the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site. He has been a resident of Okeechobee now for 32 years.

Asked what he did during his summers off from school, he replied: “My grandfather taught me how to swim when I was 6 years old, and I would enjoy spending my summertime on Lake Texoma with him. Once I moved to Okeechobee, at the age of 10, I would spend my summers jumping off bridges with my friend Nate, hydro-sliding and water skiing on Taylor Creek.” Officer Larue also enjoyed playing manhunt, also known as hide-and-seek, during night hours, and truth or dare with friends.

Officer Jeremy Larue, OPD

Officer Larue graduated in 1995 from Okeechobee High School, with his favorite subject being classes on automotive work. “My favorite course would have to be auto mechanics with Bobby Burk; he was a great influence in my love for mechanics. With the knowledge he bestowed upon me, I became a successful business owner here in Okeechobee in 2005 myself.” Aside from his love for mechanics, which also happened to be his favorite aspect of grade school, Officer Larue was on the high school wrestling team. When asked what he liked least about school, he answered, “English … (I’m the) world’s worst speller!”

Officer Larue continued his automotive mechanics education after high school at what is now Indian River State College, where he earned an associates degree in automotive science. After he received his degree, Officer Larue chose to return to IRSC and pursue certifications in both law enforcement and fire rescue, where he was cross-trained as an emergency responder.

Before his career began in law enforcement or anywhere else, Officer Larue entered the workforce through the retail grocery chain of Publix. He has been a law enforcement officer for over 10 years now and is currently certified by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center as an instructor for the OPD in the fields of first aid, first responder and driving. He is also the first member of his family to work in the field. He began his career in law enforcement while working in an unrelated career field.

“I was working on a patrol car while employed with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

(Then) Deputy Brian Hagan and (then) Trooper Paul May would come in all the time, and Brian would sometimes let me use the radar gun to check the speeds of passing cars.

Once, Sheriff Paul May and Undersheriff Noel Stephen sponsored my attendance through the academy. After a total of five and a half years with the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office and two years after becoming certified, Noel recommended me to OPD Chief Denny Davis because they did not have a part-time position at the sheriff’s office. I am very thankful for the opportunities that have been afforded to me and to the individuals who have been there along the way.”

When asked what made him choose his path of education and career, Officer Larue responded, “My love for helping others.” Officer Larue then said that his career choices have strengthened his bond with the community, his morals and ethics, which he holds in high regard. “My career has made me a part of the largest family in the world, brothers and sisters in blue. It has made me a sheepdog, not the sheep that is preyed on by the wolf.”

He credits his wife, Tabitha Larue, as being the biggest influence in his career path, stating, “She liked a man in uniform and thought it was very attractive!” Officer Larue also has one daughter, Deianira Larue, who recently completed the emergency medical (technician/technology) program at IRSC this year and will start at the fire academy in January 2019.

In addition to his position with OPD, he is the owner of Total Roadside Service Center and Total Roadside Services Towing and Recovery. “I was very fortunate when I started my business to have two great employees in Nate Baisley and Nick Valcaniant, who gave me the time necessary to finish up my schooling to become an officer. Both positions allow me to be a positive influence in our community and allow me to help others in need. Since my business started back in 2005 with one truck, I can now say with a lot of hard work, dedication and the support of the Okeechobee community, Total Roadside Services has expanded to nine trucks and currently employs 29 people,” Officer Larue expounded on his love for service to others.

In his spare time from being a law enforcement officer and a business owner, Officer Larue likes to “fly airplanes, go fishing in the Keys and, of course, chasing my wife around the house!” Officer Larue is also a master mason and “a proud member of the Okeechobee Masonic Lodge No. 237.” He said he would like to live in the year 3018 and that if he could meet anyone, it would be Jesus.

“I am currently a member at First Baptist Church of Okeechobee. Through this time, I have been inspired and blessed by the affect Jesus has had on my life. Therefore, Jesus is who I would like to meet, and one question I have for him is, how and why did he come up with the blueprints on the way we live today?”

When asked what superhuman power he would like to possess, Officer Larue answered, “I want to use 100 percent of my brain, affording me the opportunity to read people’s minds, because I would like to be able to determine whether they are trustworthy and loyal.”

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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