Matt Caswell has been with the Ashland Police Department — for more than a decade.

Although Caswell has only been a sworn officer for the — past three years, the 30-year-old Medford resident has worked for or volunteered — with the APD since he was a student at Ashland High School.

In high school, Caswell was involved with Explorers, a — program the police department cooperated with that gave teenagers the — opportunity to experience ride-alongs with officers and perform community-service — work with the department.

"It's something that sparked an interest," Caswell said. — "[I found] my passion for that kind of work and the desire to help people — in need. It just went from there."

He studied at Southern Oregon State College for a spell, — but left school to join APD in another role. Caswell spent five years — working as the parking control officer in Ashland - better known as the — meter maid or other, more obscene names he remembers being called - before — he was promoted to Community Service Officer.

Caswell was the CSO for three years, a position that didn't — allow him to make arrests, carry a gun, give out citations or go on patrol. — Finally, three years ago, he moved up the ranks to sworn patrol officer. —

"It wasn't something that was handed to me," Caswell said. —

As a patrol officer, Caswell takes responds to calls, — investigates crimes and enforces traffic laws, although he admits most — of his time is spent writing reports. Even days off can be dominated by — work, with court appearances and DMV hearings, but Caswell still enjoys — the role he plays in the Ashland community.

"I like dealing with people," Caswell said. "I like helping — people. There are more good people out there than bad."

When he does step away from his work with the APD, Caswell — returns to his favorite job - being a dad.

"On the rare occasion that I do get a day off, I spend — it at home with my family," said Caswell, who is married with two daughters. —

"They're awesome," Caswell said of his daughters, who — are almost-five and almost-two years old. "They're just amazing children."

- Staff writer can be reached at 488-3456 — x 3019 or