A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Charlie Mathewson

A Portage Life in the Spotlight: Charlie Mathewson
By: Sergio Valdes Last Updated: February 26, 2020

Working to uphold the law can be hard work. But for someone as diligent and dedicated as Charlie Mathewson, it’s worth it. As a railroad police officer, he performs all of the typical duties of an officer of the law, while also educating the general public about railroad safety and regulations.

“I’ve always had a passion for law enforcement,” Mathewson said. “Having the chance to make a difference in someone’s life motivates me every day. In hindsight, you become a better person the more you do your duties as an officer.”

Mathewson began his career 14 years ago as a municipal police officer, but turned his eye to working in railroads when the opportunity arose. His family has a history with railroads, with both his father and grandfather working in the industry during their lives.

“When I saw there were railroad police positions available, I immediately started applying,” he said. “I saw it as a good chance to merge my work life and family legacy.”

As a police officer, Mathewson expressed how important it is to be invested in one’s community. When things happen, having a sense of altruism and a strong moral compass can really empower someone to make a positive impact on the people around them.

“A police officer is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none,” Mathewson said. “We have to be well-rounded in terms of skillset and required to know so much about a variety of topics in the law enforcement field.”

“We are human beings and it is important to stay humble even on the job,” he said. “People look at us police officers as the fixers of problems, so it is our duty to take a minute to listen to what their problems are and act according to the law.”

Despite the challenges, Mathewson’s positive outlook and desire to help and teach others drives him to continue his work.

“Being a railroad police officer feels good,” Mathewson said. “I try to make a difference for one person one day at a time. I try to do the best that I can to help those in need, no matter how big or small their problems may be. Ultimately, compassion is a part of being a police officer, and that’s what I like about my job.” When he’s not working, Mathewson spends time with his family. They are avid Disney fans and visit Disney World at least once a year.