Madisonville police officer inspiring young men

MADISONVILLE, KY (WFIE) - A Madisonville Police lieutenant is retiring this week after more than 20 years of service and what he's leaving behind might surprise you.

Lieutenant Mark Phaup not only protects the community, but is also leading young men to do the same thing.

He's transitioning them from shoulder pads to bullet proof vests.

Phaup has been a football coach for the North Hopkins Maroons, and several of the young men he has coached there are now protecting the public on the street.

Seven of the men Phaup coached at Madisonville North are now either police officers in Madisonville, firefighters, or serving in law enforcement across the country.

"And he asked me one day, 'Have you ever thought about being a police officer?', and I said, 'No, not really'.  And he told me. 'Whenever you turn 21 you need to go ahead and put your application in and give it a shot'", said Clay Stround, Madisonville Police.

Lieutenant Phaup is happy to pass the torch on to his former players, "Those guys, those hardworking kids like that with that kind of mentality, are perfect for the public service realm. And so they've all stepped in and done and excellent job for us and I'm proud each one of them is here."

Copyright 2014 WFIE. All rights reserved.