We had the good fortune of connecting with Aram Choe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aram, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe empathy is a hallmark characteristic for leadership. I think when people make a decision to follow someone on social media, their end goal is to follow someone who will provide perspective or information to help them grow personally and grow informationally. When I set out to put myself out there on social media, I knew I would encounter obstacles. Being openly Christian and open about my family isn’t necessarily a popular thing to do as a police officer. Being a police officer in of itself isn’t necessarily a popular thing to be open about. As a matter of fact, when I meet new people in person, I am reluctant to divulge what I do professionally. So as you can imagine, when I decided to put myself out there, I did so with the intention of being as transparent and genuine as possible. My platform is based on being the anti anti-police. I understand there are people who have had negative exposure to the police. And for whatever reason, they haven’t had access to police officers willing to have difficult dialogue with them. I believe my access and willingness to address these tough topics in a way that is relatable is a huge contributor to my growing popularity. People on social media are smart. They’re savvy. And they can sniff out the fakes. Being genuine and true to who I am, no matter how popular or unpopular my views might be are the formula to my success.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think a lot of people associate police officers as uneducated people who chose this line of work because we couldn’t get a “real ” job. For me, I am surrounded by brilliant people who have a heart to serve. In college, I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I wanted to be a sports caster specifically. But in my heart, I wanted to serve. I wanted to be a part of a profession that would allow me to make an impact in my community. I continued with my education and eventually earned my masters degree in Public Relations. I believe public relations is a huge component of what we do as police officers. I apply Public Relations principles every day at work when I deal with our stakeholders. What is unique to me in my profession is that I also teach part time at California Baptist University, where I teach Journalism, Communications and Public Relations Courses. I feel like I can relate to our Gen Z students and give them real world examples in the subjects I teach. I think shedding the stereotype of another “dumb” cop is what really motivates me. Getting into police work wasn’t easy, but getting into university level teaching was even harder. I’ve learned through my journey that if it is in your heart, you can do it. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In both my jobs, I spend a lot of time surrounded by four walls. I think anytime you get to go outside and soak up the experience of being outdoors you should. In most cases its affordable and rewarding. I enjoy off-roading in the desert and kayaking on the lake. I take my four kids along for the experiences as well because I didn’t get to a whole lot as a kid. Both my parents were busy running their businesses and I missed out on a lot. I certainly didn’t want to deprive my kids of that. I’d say if you were to hang out with me for a week long adventure, we would take the trailer out to a remote desert and set up camp. From there we could tackle an off-road trail and discover scenery the average motorist doesn’t get to see. We would of course take lots of photos and videos to memorialize the trip. I think being away from the hustle and bustle would be the primary focus. We are so connected to our devices and people we interact with daily that getting away from it all is a good way to reset.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I truly wouldn’t be here right now without the grace of God. I have had a tremendous amount of adversity in my life and every excuse to complain and be discouraged. Having a father who abused drugs and committed suicide, to helping my mother beat cancer only to lose her to murder have been just two of the impactful experiences I went through. I could have been angry. I could have been callous. But instead, I am this positive person who is able to use my reach to show people, that with God, anything, including forgiving others is possible.
Other: My weekly podcast available on most podcast platforms: The 911Strong Podcast