Sheriff’s department employee prepares for job with U.S. Secret ServiceBy Emily Beckett Published 12:11am Saturday, August 30, 2014
An upcoming career change for a former Chilton County Sheriff’s Department employee is no longer considered classified information.
Erric Price, 31, will begin training for his new job with the United States Secret Service in May after working with the sheriff’s department for more than 12 years.
“It’s been just a lifelong dream to be a part of an elite group of some of the best-trained people in the country,” Price said. “I am so humbled, and I feel like I need to be pinched. This is a dream come true.”
A reception will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at Lomax Assembly of God to honor Price for his years of service in law enforcement in the community.
Everyone is invited to attend.
Price will go through training for the Secret Service over the next eight months.
In May, he and his wife Amanda and their children, Sarah and Rebeckah, will move to Boston, Mass., for his new job.
“That gives use time to sell our home and make some contacts there,” Price said.
Although he initially hoped to be assigned to an office closer to his home state, he said Boston seemed to be the best fit.
Leaving behind family, friends and church family in Chilton County, where he has lived his entire life, will be extremely difficult, Price said.
“That will be one of the hardest parts about this new chapter in our life,” Price said. “I tell myself there are soldiers gone from their families day to day for 18 months. That’s a sacrifice they make that we’re willing to make.”
The first phase of Price’s training will take place at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga.
The second phase will be at the Secret Service Academy in Beltsville, Md.
Price is one of 24 people in a class preparing to start careers with the Secret Service within the next year.
Once his training is complete, Price will start working full-time as a Special Agent Recruit.
He will help with investigations of cases involving counterfeit currency, threats made on certain protectees, presidential protection when the president vacations at Martha’s Vineyard and protection of upcoming presidential election candidates.
“The Secret Service is still one of the smallest federal agencies there is in the country,” Price said. “It’s very family-oriented. It’s a close-knit group of men and women.”
Price started the application and hiring process for the Secret Service about 14 months ago; however, the goal to land a high-caliber government job that would allow him to use his law enforcement background to serve his country was in place long ago.
“I’ve always felt like there was something missing because I was not in the military, and I’ve never been to war and not served my country,” Price said. “There’s been this void in my heart that I have not contributed like I want to. I hope working with the Secret Service will fill that void by serving my country.”
Price had to take and pass a written test, perform a physical training test, go through multiple interviews and an extensive background check, and complete a polygraph test.
“It’s been an exciting yet nervous experience trying to get hired,” he said, adding that training for and competing in the Ironman triathlon several times helped prepare him for the P.T. test.
“It definitely gave me the self-confidence to understand I would be able to pass it with no problem,” he said.
Price said the full-spectrum polygraph and written tests were the most stressful parts of the hiring process.
When he was a child, Price had to overcome a learning disability in written expression in which he had difficulty spelling words and retaining information he read.
The written test he had to take for the Secret Service was one of the biggest obstacles he conquered in the hiring process.
“I would want there to be a message to children to live your dreams, make goals, and even though half may never be met, if you make enough goals and meet half of them, it is attainable,” he said. “If I can do it, then maybe that would spark somebody’s dream for being able to finish what they want to do.”
Price said the “driving force” behind his accomplishments came from the support of his wife, family members, friends, coworkers, former teachers and coaches.
“The support that I’ve had throughout has been incredible,” he said. “[They] pushed me to always be a winner and do my best at everything and have a strong work ethic.”
When he lacked patience and faith along the way, Price said he sought God’s peace in Philippians 4:13, which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and Psalm 37:4, which says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
“I’ve questioned am I smart enough to do this,” Price said. “His perfect will has come to fruition, so to speak.”
Price’s wife said she was not surprised he was hired for the Secret Service.
“Erric will pretty much accomplish anything and everything that he puts his mind too,” Amanda Price said. “Ever since I’ve known him, this has been his dream and his goal. It’s really, really neat.”
David Reiter, who trained with Erric for an Ironman competition, described his friend as a “phenomenal individual.”
“Anything he could do to better the community and himself, he’s gotten involved in,” Reiter said. “There’s a lot of things people do just to get by in their jobs, but Erric goes above and beyond. He wanted to be the best and showed people truly what it means to be a leader.”
Reiter said traits Price possesses that stand out to him are his moral character and integrity.
Reiter met Price about four years ago at a women’s self-defense seminar Price organized and led as an outreach event through the sheriff’s department.
He also noted Price’s leadership on the department’s S.W.A.T. and dive teams.
“The man is truly who he says he is and his entire life, he’s always cherished his integrity,” Reiter said. “I’m very excited for him, I’m happy for him, but I’m so sad that he’s going to be leaving.”
Price said he is still digesting the news of his new job and the changes it will bring.
“It still has not set in what’s happened, but ultimately I give God all the glory for helping me achieve this dream,” Price said. “I’m excited to be a part of a new team.”