By RACHAEL LONG / Photo by Rachael Long
Nolensville residents may see an unfamiliar face around town, donning a Nolensville Police uniform and a badge that reads “0012.”
That’s the police department’s newest officer, Dylan Couch.
A resident of Murfreesboro, Couch travels to Nolensville for the job. He’s one of a handful of Nolensville officers who have come to the department from the Cannon County Sheriff’s office.
Couch graduated from the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in March of 2017. He’s also a 2017 graduate of Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice.
Couch said, along with his country twang, he brings to the department some basic training in sign language.
Police Chief Roddy Parker said hiring staff saw in Dylan a number of things they liked.
“He’s obviously a bright young man, college educated. He came highly recommended from his former bosses… and he’s a people person,” Parker said. “He seems to be easy going, and we thought that was a good fit for Nolensville.”
He’s got about a year and a half of policing experience under his belt, and Couch said his new community is much different than his last one.
For one thing, it’s growing, fast.
“‘We’re growing,’ that’s what I keep on hearing,” Couch said. “In the next five years we’re projected to double in size.”
He’s not in Cannon anymore, but Couch said he appreciates the training Nolensville Police Department has given him since his arrival.
“Being able to sit down and re-learn some things that I’ve already learned in the academy, but just to refresh my mind and to know that they’re actually taking the time [to train] me as they see fit, it’s a blessing to me,” Couch said.
The Nolensville officer said he’s doing the job he wanted at six years old.
“Little kids always get those little plastic cop toys, you know, or a plastic badge for a Halloween [police officer] costume…or something like that,” Couch said. “It’s just something I always wanted to be, and it never went away.”
Couch spoke of one little girl back in Cannon County who always looked forward to seeing him, whether he was in uniform or off duty. Those little moments, he said, make the job so rewarding.
“Being able to touch a young child’s heart like that is probably the biggest reward,” he said.
Starting the new job isn’t the only transition in Couch’s life right now. He’s also got a baby on the way.
“Due June 5,” Couch said with a smile.
The little one will be his first child. Couch said his fiancée has a 3-year daughter, who he co-parents.
“She has me wrapped around her finger,” Couch said.
When he’s off duty, the Murfreesboro resident said he enjoys riding and training horses, a hobby he’s had since childhood.
An outdoorsman, Couch said he also likes spending warm days out on the lake in the boat he purchased last summer.
“[I’m] kind of a country boy at heart,” Couch said.
As he starts shaking hands with people, Couch said it’s then that he’ll start to feel like he’s part of the community.
“I’ve been welcomed with open arms,” Couch said. “But I don’t feel like I’m up on par yet.”
The new officer said if there is one thing he wants the community to know about him, it’s this: “I may look tough, but I’m actually real soft. My fiancée makes fun of me all the time for being as soft as I am, honestly,” Couch said. “I have a big heart, so there are certain things that will get to me.”
Chief Parker chimed in to say, “You’re not gonna cry on me, are you?”
“I may,” Couch responded, with a laugh. “If you get to me, I may.”