There’s a new full-time police officer walking the beat in the Town of Amherst.
If his face looks familiar, it’s because Const. Tristan Follows has been working part time for the Amherst Police Department for nearly a year.
“I’m looking forward to getting a house, having a family, a normal lifestyle and developing my career as a police officer,” Follows said, after his appointment as a full-time officer was confirmed.
He is filling a position that became vacant as the result of retirements and promotions that have taken place within the department.
Police Chief Dwayne Pike welcomed Follows to his full-time role.
“Tristan has demonstrated the skills, compassion and desire that make a good officer,” Pike said. “We look forward to him growing as a police officer and working with him as we all strive to ensure that Amherst is a great place to live, work and play.”
Born in Nova Scotia, Follows, the son of an Acadia University business and marketing professor, was raised in Wolfville. Unlike many, he never thought about being police officer while growing up.
When he graduated high school, he headed west and got a job in the kitchen at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. While there “I discovered I really liked cooking,” Follows said. “So, I finished a three-year apprenticeship and became a red-seal chef.”
His 11-year cooking career with the Fairmont hotel chain took him to Bermuda and then to Victoria, B.C. It was during his five-year stint in Victoria that he began thinking about becoming a police officer.
To get some insight in policing, he joined the Victoria Police Department as crime watch volunteer, then shortly after, he became a volunteer auxiliary reserve constable with the Saanich Police Department, doing things like monitoring parades, doing ride-a-longs with constables and learning basic law enforcement.
He discovered he loved the police mentality and culture.
“It really made me want to become a police officer.”
So, Follows gave up his career as a chef, moved back to the Maritimes and attended the Atlantic Police Academy, graduating in 2018. Shortly after graduating, he joined the Amherst Police Department as a part-time officer in January 2019.
He’s discovered that policing and cooking have many similarities, such as the stress brought about by not knowing what would be faced on each shift and the need for teamwork in order to be successful.
A chef or a police officer must also be willing to adapt to learning new trends and techniques, he said, adding he made sure he continued to learn while working as a part-time officer. It’s also something he plans to do now that he’s working full time.
“Amherst has a lot of good training opportunities for its officers and they’re supportive of their officers getting that training,” he said. “I’m going to work hard bettering myself as an officer and becoming involved in the community.”