When Justin Linn was sworn in earlier this week, one of 50 who made up Alameda County Sheriff Office's latest crop of deputies, he proudly wore his badge as well as a pin that read "J. Linn."
Just like his father before him.
And his brother.
And his other brother.
With his induction, Justin becomes the fourth member of his immediate family to be on the force in Alameda County.
Justin's father, Jim, is understandable proud, although a bit surprised.
“I don't think I ever had a conscience thought that one, let alone all three would go into law enforcement,” says Jim, a 28-year veteran of the department.
Though all very different, the Linn brothers are also very similar. Their dad says that everybody who meets them notes the differences, but he sees the similarities in their taste in video games, sports and jokes.
Jacob, the middle son, was the first of the three to join the department. Jim described him as quiet, but very bright. He also added that after years of watching him serve in law enforcement, “he knew exactly what he was getting into.”
Following Jacob was Jim’s oldest son, also named Jim. After serving as an officer in the Army and finishing his degree, Jim’s decision to join the force seemed a more natural path than the others.
But in Justin’s case, even though his two older brothers had gone through the Academy like their father, it was not automatically assumed that he would do the same. Previously a student at San Jose State University, Justin studied psychology and showed interest in being a school psychologist.
“It was a bit of a slower process. It wasn’t that ‘ah ha’ moment. It was him watching his brothers and, you know, going through college,” Jim says.
But when Justin did decide to accept a spot in the Academy, he was a little more prepared than most.
“I definitely got closer with my dad because we had, you know, that bond of, you know, always being able to talk about it together and ask him for advice,” Justin says reflecting on the six-month extensive training program.
For Justin and his two brothers, having a dad who was a cop was all they ever knew. But Justin says that his dad Jim, now in his 28th year of service, was good at keeping work and home life separate.
“I see my dad as just a happy, upright go around guy. I mean, he doesn't bring his work home with him at all,” Justin says.
Proud of his sons for their accomplishments, Jim feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to guide them through a process which he describes as not easy.
“I want these boys to go out there and do the right thing for the right reason and if you do that, you'll be successful and and you'll be happy and the people you serve'll be happy.”
Justin says that it’s an honor to have law enforcement as the family business and he sees how proud it has made his dad to have him and his brothers all on the same department.
“I just I think he's really proud that we're all doing something good with our lives and making a difference.”