After growing up in what he describes as the ghettos of Daytona Beach, Royce James spent a decade working as a financial advisor, ultimately reaching the elite level of working with high-net-worth individuals. In spite of that success, he was frustrated by the fact that very few of his clients followed his advice. He knew it was time for a career change, but to what? And was he crazy to leave the security of a solid career for a huge unknown?
One fateful day, looking down at the highway from the Tampa skyscraper where he was working, a revelation struck. Royce saw a line of police vehicles weaving through traffic, blue lights on, and his interest was piqued. Whatever they were doing, it looked cool and he wanted in. That’s when Royce contacted local law enforcement agencies to go on ride-alongs. The very first ride-along, which he describes as “the most mundane law enforcement day ever,” was all he needed to know his next step. He was hooked.
That’s when Royce made the decision to resign from financial service and enter public service. It was a massive uphill climb, moving into his mom’s apartment, going back to a minimum wage job, enrolling in police academy, living on ramen noodles and hot dogs, and slogging through a grueling year-long process that had no guarantee of a job on the other end.
Royce defied the odds at every stage of his career; his grit and determination pulled him through. Today, Deputy Royce James has built a very successful career with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, where his work is regularly chronicled on the Reelz and Peacock show On Patrol: Live. You can tune in and watch him in action every Friday and Saturday night at 9:00 pm ET.
In this episode, Royce discusses how he built his career in financial service, the struggle he faced in making an unlikely career change, and the case he solved that earned him an accolade as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the State of Florida.
Second Act Stories theme music: “Between 1 and 3 am” by Echoes