Gonzalo Campos was working his way up the ladder in the banking business when he decided to leave it all behind for a career in law enforcement.
“I sat at a computer screen for six years and it took a toll on me,” the 27-year-old Aiken County sheriff’s deputy said.
Campos took a teller job at SRP Federal Credit Union after graduating from high school to help his family financially and had advanced through the ranks to having his own office. In the back of his mind, however, he’d always considered joining law enforcement.
“When I first told my mom she broke down and cried,” he said of the news he would be a police officer. “She felt it was a dangerous job... As far as my dad, he was all for it.”
His father was especially happy to see Campos become an officer because he could help other Hispanics in the Aiken County area.
Campos and his parents moved to Windsor, S.C., from Pasadena, Calif., when he was around 9 because of increasing worries about the area’s growing gang problem.
His uncle had already settled in Aiken County and convinced them of a safer, more relaxed life in the rural area of South Carolina.
When Campos isn’t wearing a badge, he enjoys fishing, biking and is very active in his Hispanic church on Wire Road where he is a singer.
The deputy, who describes himself as “very religious” with a strict set of morals and beliefs, said at times it’s a struggle to deal with the types of people he runs into with his career in law enforcement.
“It’s a little difficult at times,” he said. “There are certain things you’re taught and how to behave, but then you see others who don’t care.”
He takes those issues up in prayer.
Ultimately, after three years in law enforcement, he said it’s clear to him this is where he’s supposed to be.