Looking at his family history, it is no surprise that Sam Larsh is a police officer. However, his path to serve and protect the community of Fairfield has not been so obvious or direct. He had previously served four years, active duty, as an infantry officer, including a tour to Afghanistan in 2009. Leaving active duty in the U.S. Army in 2011, Larsh was looking to set a new career path for himself. In early 2013, Larsh completed his master’s degree in business administration at Xavier University and immersed himself in the business community. However, he did not feel that he had found his calling. “I did not particularly enjoy the business world and was not finding enjoyment in my job,” says Larsh.

A Hamilton native and Ross High School graduate, Larsh was familiar with Butler Tech and knew of its unique career training opportunities. “My brother went to Butler Tech and my dad was a police officer so I was very familiar with the police academy, too,” says Larsh. As a child, Larsh had always dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a police officer. Looking to make that dream a reality, Larsh enrolled at Butler Tech, completing the program in December 2013. Larsh began working in Fairfield soon after and has since found that career satisfaction he had been looking for. Larsh says his non-traditional route has helped him in his career. “The military helped me tremendously, from a discipline aspect… it gives you the discipline to achieve the things you want.”

His advice to students in similar situations as himself: “Take the time to figure out exactly what you want to do.”

“College is a natural second step for so many people, but Butler Tech has a whole bunch of programs and paths that are catered to certain career skill sets. Be sure to look at non-traditional options, too,” says Larsh. “A four-year college degree isn’t always necessary.”

While Larsh says his military experience is vastly different from the work he does as a police officer, he has not forgotten his roots and continues to serve in the National Guard.