Max Toliver: Making A Difference

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Jenna Karrer, Author

The bell rings. Students shuffle from their classes to the cafeteria to eat lunch. Police Officer Max Toliver walks around the cafeteria greeting students with a smile and telling them to have a good day.

After growing up in a city on the north side of Houston where relationships between law enforcement and community were poor, Toliver said he knew he needed to make a change.

“I wanted to get into the profession to change that thought process to help people,” Toliver said.

While attending Sam Houston State University to major in Criminal Justice and minor in Human Services, Toliver decided to leave college to work at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

“At the time, my parents were going through a divorce, and I was having a hard time in college,” Toliver said. “I watched my grades go down.”

Toliver said he knew if he did not change, he would never break away from the poor grades. He decided to take the opportunity to work at Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and become the first cop in his family.

“One of my mentors is actually my wife’s uncle, who worked at the Sheriff’s Office in the cold case division,” Toliver said. “He motivated me to become a cop.”

Before entering the police academy, Toliver had to complete many agility tests like running one and a half miles in under fifteen minutes. Aside from the physical work, Toliver also had to complete a writing exam and an interview process. After completing this, he entered the eleven month part-time program that allowed him to take classes while working.

“The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office had their own academy,” Toliver said. “So on the off days we went to the police academy, and on the other days, we worked.”

After graduating from the academy, Toliver said his short-term goal was to make it though his first year without any problems.

“My long term goal is really just to retire, be with the climate of the law enforcement and to go home safe every night to my wife and kids,” Toliver said.

Soon after becoming a cop, Toliver went back to Sam Houston State University to finish his degree. Between taking two classes a semester even during the summer, working, and being a father, Toliver said he wrote many of his school papers in the squad car. In Dec. 2017, Toliver graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences in Criminal Justice. He is currently working towards his Masters degree in Theology from Grace School of Theology and currently holds the position of senior pastor at his Church in Huntsville. After retiring, Toliver would like to continue working in the school setting, but as a teacher.

“I always had the goal of maybe going and teaching kids law enforcement inside of a school,” Toliver said.

Working as a police officer in the school is something Toliver truly enjoys. Toliver said he hopes to make a difference in the lives of students by offering encouragement and telling them to have a good day.

“I enjoy being in this environment with the children making sure they are safe and being the person they look up to,” Toliver said.

Toliver said being on campus with students is the “most amazing” part of his job.

“Officer Toliver has impacted the school in a way that previous police officers have not because he is always friendly with the students,” senior Dyson LeVasseur said. “He pops into classes and creates conversation all the time.”