Veteran and lieutenant helps lead the next generation of police officers
Paul Duros is a longtime veteran of the United States Army (32 years), the Palm Beach Sherriff’s Office (14 years) and the Police Academy at then-named Palm Beach Community College.
Considering himself a Floridian, Duros finished college in West Virgina and moved to West Palm Beach with his family in 1994. For several years, he found himself bouncing between active duty, the army reserve and the police department until he retired from the Army. Since joining the Palm Beach Sherriff’s Office, Duros has risen through promotion, currently serving as lieutenant road patrol watch commander for West Palm Beach, Greenacres and Lake Worth.
While his long-term goal had been the Sherriff’s Office, returning to Palm Beach State as an adjunct instructor was not planned. An instructor with the College’s Police Academy for the past six years, Duros appreciates the opportunity. “I’m fortunate to have gotten to this position, today. And I enjoy teaching everything.”
Duros structures his instruction with a combination of teaching methods for young recruits navigating their new environment. “A lot of things have changed since I was in the Academy. In this industry, you have to be able to move forward with the changes that come. We must understand that people communicate differently across generations.”
As a lead instructor in the Army Reserve and with 12 years in various teaching roles, Duros looks for balance in how the program is carried out. “During my training days, we had to create our own binders and books with the handouts we were given. We just didn’t have today’s technology. It does make the job easier though I believe we should not lose the ability to speak with people.”
Duros sees the changes to the industry, targeting today’s needs. With more roles for police personnel to play, training hours have doubled and tripled, specifically to provide education and guidance for interacting with the public.
“The world is different, so how we do our jobs needs to be also. We get more training to help people with mental issues or veterans experiencing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) to understand how we can serve them best.”
Duros recognizes that expectations have changed. “Law enforcement is asked to do a lot more now than when I started in 1995 with the Lake Worth Police Academy. We have to remember that people are looking to us for help.”
It’s a worthy sentiment for Duros, who has dedicated his life to helping others. As Palm Beach State helped him early in his career, the College continues to provide academic and professional paths for those just beginning their journeys, hopefully impacting lives as Duros has.
In recognition of Palm Beach State College’s 90th anniversary, the weekly Alumni Spotlight Series showcases the College’s role in preparing generations of graduates to achieve success in myriad careers and give back to their local communities.