Jim Lawless, Edmonds assistant police chief
City of residence: Marysville
Occupation: Assistant police chief in Edmonds
Q: How did your name direct your career path?
A: It really didn't. For me personally, I never gave it any thought until it was pointed out to me, the irony of the name and my chosen profession. I kind of latched on to this profession as a kid and decided this is what I wanted to do. My grandmother used to take me to the local convenience store, and I'd see the policemen in there and they'd talk to me and I was all wide-eyed, and I knew this is what I wanted to do.
Q: Would you change your name if you could, and why or why not?
A: No. It's my name and it is what it is, and it has served me well throughout my career.
Q: If you could choose another career, what would it be?
A: Early on I was looking to be a wildlife biologist, but I found myself drifting back to this. I wouldn't change careers at this point. I'm going on 22 1/2 years. I started when I was 21.
Q: How do you know when someone has picked up on the fact that your name is an aptonym?
A: They might just start laughing. But the big one always is, ‘Is that really your name?' Or ‘Is that why you became a cop?' People are really just straightforward about it.
Q: How do people react to the combination of your name and job? Do they get it? Any funny stories as a result?
A: Sometimes people, they might be a little heated (when we arrive on the scene), and people forget for a minute and get distracted by my name. As much as it brings levity to situations, there are just plenty of situations where it might have been a heated situation where the name distracts. And it doesn't have to be necessarily a major or violent situation; people are just upset with something, not even a criminal situation, and the name distracts. It gets them to calm back down a bit, and it's been quite helpful throughout my career.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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