Interview by Abernathy Cochran intern and Gainesville High School junior Donangelo Marshall
Meet State Trooper TeDarrius Teasley! He goes by T.D. and was born and raised in Gainesville. He attended East Hall High School and played football and basketball his entire high-school career. After graduation, he went to study Criminal Justice and Human Services at Cumberland University in Kentucky and played football there for a few years. He became Resident Assistant at Cumberland and then got the opportunity to be a resident hall director at Piedmont College. He got his master’s in business administration at Piedmont.
We want to thank TD for spending time with us recently and telling us more about
Question: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
Answer: “I’ve always liked helping people, in general, I’ve never been the selfish type. Law is a popular thing, and coming from this area you see a lot of people and a lot of things and I wanted to be on the positive side of the law and this was a great opportunity to do that. There are not many black troopers in general and there are no black troopers here and that inspired me as well because I could be a difference in the area.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “I’ll turn 26 in June, so I’ve been here my whole life. Born and raised in Gainesville. The only time I’ve been gone was when I was in Kentucky for three and a half years doing school, but after that, I came right back down.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “When I know I need something I can depend on…Rabbittown. Growing up, I probably ate there more than any other place. My go-to thing if I need to have something to eat or for breakfast is the chicken tenders.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: ”I would probably go to Los Angeles, I was a big Kobe Bryant fan, and I always wanted to see him play, however, I didn’t get that opportunity. It would have been nice to meet him in general but won’t be possible now because of his unexpected death. Like I said I would love to go to Los Angeles, I’m sure that the city has a lot going on to honor him and stuff like that. It would be cool to be apart of it. I was a big fan, and I had customized shoes.”
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: “My favorite movies are anything Madea, I don’t feel like I watch a lot of movies, but anything Tyler Perry or Madea related I don’t even look at the reviews, I just go straight to see it because I know it’s going to be a good one.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Probably just be yourself and don’t be afraid to fail and don’t get so focused on pleasing other people. Just be yourself pursue what you’re going to pursue and if you fail you fail. You’ve gotta be yourself and be willing to take chances.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “As scared as I am to do it… I want to skydive. You know I see pictures of it and I wonder ‘oh what if I’m that one person that doesn’t make it,’ but still I’d love to be able to do that.”
Q: What is your favorite music/ 3 bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “My favorite music as far as the genre would be R&B. I listen to rap but that’s not my favorite thing. As far as the artists Lyfe Jennings is my favorite person to listen to, and then Anthony Hamilton, and then you’ve got Charlie Wilson. I like kind of the old school R&B music.”
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where in Hall County would you have lunch?
A: “Probably President Barack Obama and I’d take him to Double D Burger. We would go somewhere that has been here for a while and where I know the people and they know me. Now that I think about it, Longstreet Cafe would be a good place, too.”
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about Hall County?
A: “Probably just the diversity, especially working this job there are so many different types of people if you look at money there are wealthy people and not so wealthy people. There are Hispanics and so many different races and ethnicities just from the South end and Hall county is a big county. If you look from Buford all the up to Friendship Road and Lula area, there is a wide variety of people that you can interact with. “
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: “I see myself still working in law enforcement, I don’t know in what capacity. Maybe moving up to the State patrol or who knows. I’ve got two adopted kids right now that we just finalized in December so probably have one or two more kids by the end and just being a family man, working and providing for my family.”
Q: What three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “Welcoming, relaxing, and energetic “
Q: What is your favorite thing about your job?
A: “Honestly, being able to interact with people. I went to elementary schools and spoke to kids about a month ago. I also went to an elementary school in Banks county and got to play basketball with the kids. In this uniform, a lot of people see it as ‘oh if you do bad the cops are gonna get you.’ My favorite thing this job allows you to do is interact with people in all kinds of areas. Yeah, sometimes I am taking people to jail, but a lot of times you know I’m helping someone fix a flat tire, or I pull someone over and they are crying because they had a bad day and I can talk to them for a minute and take their mind off that. I can just interact with so many people for several reasons besides taking them to jail.”
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “I guess growing up I was kinda a quiet person. There were a few certain people that I opened up to and I was outgoing towards, but most people don’t know that I have a lot in my back pocket. I have a lot of knowledge and things about me. It’s something I owe myself for not being more outgoing, but I’d like to think I’m an interesting person to that’s had a lot of life experience to be as young as I am.”
Q: If you had a full-time staff member that was fully paid for, who would you choose? Chef, Housekeeper, Driver, Coach, Physical Fitness Trainer, or Nanny?
A: “I would choose a physical fitness trainer since I’ve gotten out of sports I find that to be the hardest thing I find myself doing is getting back into a normal workout routine.”