ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO - This fall, Fox 2 News has the unique opportunity to follow a class of recruits through the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy. We'll learn about the testing and training these men and women go through to prepare them to serve and protect the community.
Recruit Trevor Green comes from a family of police officers. Green's grandfather, father and brother have all worn blue. Green's father was a St. Louis City police officer when he was young.
Still, Green's mother, Toni Williams-Green, said she never expected the youngest of her four children to follow in their footsteps.
"To be quite honest, I was shocked when Trevor said that he wanted to serve as a police officer," she said.
Green was born and raised in north St. Louis County. As a kid, he was a big fan of Harry Potter books and had no interest being in the spotlight.
"(His grandmother) dragged him to choir rehearsal," said Sallie duMaine, family friend and Minister of Music at Green's church. "He didn't really want to sing in choir, but he stuck with it and has become really good at it."
Green also blossomed as an athlete, playing volleyball and running track while a student at Christian Brothers College High School.
Green attended college in Maryland where he studied political science and history. He was there in the fall of 2014 when he watched the community he grew up in make national headlines.
"When Ferguson happened, I feel like everything got turned upside down," Green said.
A family that had always backed the blue now seeing things in a different light. Green said it was the first time his parents had to talk to him about what to do if he was ever pulled over by a police officer. The discussion included telling Green to keep his hands on the steering wheel where officers could see them and show respect to officers.
"I never had those conversations with my kids because we never feared the police. They'd always been our friends," Toni said. "But after Ferguson happened, you realize there are some people that just should not be police officers."
Green grew frustrated as people on the east coast made assumptions about the place he called home. Green said news coverage of the events in Ferguson portrayed the community as a "lawless state" where riots, attacks and police violence are commonplace.
After college, Green returned to north St. Louis County and began working in the non-profit sector with children.
Green said he's never held a gun and was "anti-gun" growing up. His background is quite different than some others in his academy class who have trained in the military.
"I've never had that experience so there are times that I do get overwhelmed. There are times I think, 'Can you do this?'"
Green may have his doubts, but there is no doubt the people close to him think he is just the kind of officer their community needs.
"We need officers who are stopping you because they care," said duMaine. "I think that's the only way it's going to change is that you understand that you have people who care about your community."
Green hopes the community will relate to his background and experiences and see him as a leader they can depend on.
To see more on Fox 2's exclusive look inside the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy, visit www.fox2now.com/academy.