Young brings his faith and compassion to the job every day.
By Dan Campana
Growing tired of working odd jobs about a decade ago, DeMerriell Young decided he needed to make a change.
He wanted something in the professional ranks that would give him the opportunity to provide for his family. Young chose law enforcement and hasn’t looked back since.
After stints as a detention officer and deputy with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, he joined the Texas State University Police Department in the Austin area. Today, he is in his fifth year as an officer with the Buda Police Department. Although he started his career in the jail, his passion for patrol quickly emerged.
“After a while working and being around patrol deputies, I said I want to be on the street – and here we are,” Young said.
Two things emerge when learning about Young’s approach to the job. He takes pride in his appearance and carries his faith with him on every shift.
“Being a police officer is a great honor as I represent myself, my family and this city,” he explained. “I like having a crisp uniform, shining boots and a clean, shining patrol car. Citizens like seeing the officers who work to keep them safe looking sharp.”
The local VFW in Buda recently recognized Young for his compassionate response to a tragic train accident which killed a teenage girl in 2016. Young arrived on the scene and quickly recognized the train conductor was distraught and struggling with what had just happened.
“The accident was very devastating and heartbreaking for everyone involved. I remember asking the conductor for his identification and I could see he was shaken, very hurt and blaming himself for this tragedy,” Young recalled. “This experience was different for me because it actually choked me up inside. As officers we sometimes become immune to death (knowing) we have to continue our investigation.”
That’s why Young, the son of a pastor, relied on his faith in an attempt to bring some peace to the distraught conductor. The incident also aligns with advice Young offers to new and younger officers: treat people the way you’d like to be treated, and don’t judge others. He also preaches the importance of officers remembering the little things that will keep them safe each shift they work.
But, there’s also a higher belief which steadies Young every day.
“God lives with me. I think it is very important in this line of work to have a relationship with God because every time you walk out that door to go to work, there is a possibility you may not come back,” Young said.
Read the entire 50 Badges series here.