Earning the Badge: Afghani native uses homeland experiences to work with Onondaga Co. inmates

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Being a peacekeeper in the county jail is filled with challenges, but Seyam Omery is used to overcoming obstacles.  He grew up in a military family, 6,642 miles away, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Before a U.S. led invasion drove it from power, his homeland was ruled by Muslim fundamentalist group, the Taliban. Omery had witnessed many horrors, and fresh out of high school— at the age of 18—, he decided help the U.S. military, and work as a translator for the Air Force.

Now at the age of 28, Omery is one of the Justice Center's newest jail deputies, bringing with him a unique set of skills, and perspective.

“Over there, everybody was scared of police. I can help the inmates through the culture, going through that here in the U.S., policing is not like that, you will see your family again, if you do the right thing,” Omery said.

It is a job that feels more than right to Omery.

“It is a stressful job, I’m not going to say it's an easy job, it is a stressful job, but you have to be prepared for that,” he said.

“I am really happy and I’m right now with my family, all the people that are around me, my captain, lieutenant, sergeant, the other deputies, we are a big family, finally i have found my family over here,” Omery said.

Recruits from the Central New York Regional Police Academy just completed 50 weeks intense training and are set to graduate on Friday.


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