As a School Resource Officer for Bakersfield Police Department, Charles Pratt has spent the last several years working with kids and answering the many questions they have for him.

“What’s it like in the back seat of a police car?”

“Can anyone see through a one-way mirror?”

And his personal favorite?

“When I grow up, can I become a police officer?”

For Pratt, 45, working with kids and being able to answer their questions is one of the main reasons he decided to become a police officer.

But before he reached that goal, his life took him in several different directions – and into different careers – before bringing him back to his childhood dream.

As a young boy, Pratt had a collection of miniature police cars that he played with while he pretended to catch bad guys. He recalls the day he met his dad’s friend, who worked for Bakersfield Police Department. He was awestruck to see a real-life police officer in his home.

A four-year-old Pratt remembers having a hundred questions and getting to sit in a patrol car while thinking to himself, “I am going to grow up and be a police officer.”