R. Justin Freeman

Writer

Award winning writer drawing from experiences as clergy, cop, and stay at home dad.

I've been writing in long form online since 2011 about law enforcement, spirituality and religion, parenting, politics, and self-improvement. In that time I've been featured in HuffPost, Slate, Forbes, Business Insider, Quartz, and PoliceOne, as well as several publications on Medium. In 2012 I won a Shorty Award for Answer of the Year on Quora, where I'm a two-time Top Writer. If you're interested in my fuller biography, thank you, and please read on.

Growing up on a beef cattle farm in southern Missouri, I always felt a draw to writing. Whether it was a colored pencil illustrated compendium of dinosaur species, a (very thin) newsletter about the goings-on of the household, simple poetry, or short stories that always found a way to feature helicopters or jets, there was typically always something that needed written down.

After graduating high school, I pursued a duty to service via the avenue that made sense to me at the time – studying to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. I was working out a calling I felt to make the world a more peaceful and orderly place. I didn’t jump right into a staff position at a church, though, which made way for a new avenue to fulfill my duty: Law enforcement.

After a short stint doing warehouse and data entry work to make ends meet, I read a news article about staffing shortages at the police department where I lived in Springfield, Missouri. I’d never considered law enforcement as a career option, but I felt myself getting more and more dull in the menial work of my job and knew law enforcement would as a matter of course put me right in the midst of where need was great.

I applied for and was accepted to SPD’s 58th Academy, thus beginning three of the most formative years of my life. Putting that uniform on was definitely a watershed moment for me. I worked as a patrol officer for SPD, answering calls for service for everything from parking violations and noise complaints to fatal motor vehicle accidents and stabbings.

A phone call one afternoon put me back on a path to traditional ministry; I accepted a position as pastor of a small church in Mountain Grove, Missouri, bittersweetly parting from my life in law enforcement. For about three years I worked in the church and community, founding a non-profit to address community needs along with a handful of other faith leaders and becoming president of the local Ministerial Alliance. After starting my tenure, I started writing online, principally answering questions about law enforcement people posed on sites like Quora. In 2012, I was honored to win a Shorty Award for Best Answer on Quora for a piece I wrote about the futility of fleeing from police in a vehicle.

Family needs drew me back to Springfield in time, where I worked for a while as a Public Safety Officer for Missouri State University. Love came calling in time though, and I took the biggest chance of my life in 2015 as I sold most everything I owned and moved to Yukon Territory to explore a budding relationship with a friend I’d had since 2000. We got married the next year, moved to a farm in a small village in the territory the next year, and had a daughter the year after that.

Presently, I’m co-manager of Freeman, Inc. (AKA stay at home dad to our toddling daughter). I’m also establishing a permaculture farm on our property and writing on my chosen topics of interest. My long term goal is to keep serving people – locally with the harvest of my farm, and remotely via the writing I do.
Categories
Content Types
Guide, Article, Whitepaper, Blog Post
More Information
Missouri State University, Associate of Arts in General Studies with Honors
Mid-America Christian University, Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry and Biblical Studies
Springfield, Missouri Police Academy, POST Certificate for Police Officers
Haines Junction, YT Canada|English
Publications
N/A

Self Improvement

7

Law Enforcement

16

Politics

2

Writing About Writing

1

Parenting

2

Published Content

2
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