URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Champaign County Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Mayo says he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

“It’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life. It’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Deputy Mayo said.

Wednesday marks the beginning of National Police Week. That’s why we’re honoring the brave men and women in law enforcement who sacrifice so much to keep their communities safe.

“We’re out there, we’re here for you, and we’re working every day for you. We all care very deeply, and we’re all very honored to work for you,” Deputy Mayo said.

The Deputy has been with the office for nearly two years. He says every day is a challenge, but it’s also rewarding.

“I look forward to impacting somebody in a positive manner. That’s always my goal. If I get the opportunity to get call volumes down low, I like to get out in some of our communities, those smaller communities; and try to get out with the kids, and show that we’re approachable and things like that,” Deputy Mayo said.

The Kankakee County native served in Afghanistan and has law enforcement in his blood.

“My brother growing up was a Sheriff’s Deputy for a little while, and when I saw him doing it, I thought it was really cool,” Deputy Mayo said.

Despite his desire to living up to his family legacy, he admits is a tough time for law enforcement, even those looking to serve.

“You see a lot of the veteran officers and deputies getting out of it because of the climate. I would encourage people that if you have a passion for serving others, regardless of what that is, to maybe look into law enforcement. It doesn’t matter the call. I’m at a 10 when I go, and I think we all are, just because of the things that have happened here in the community. We’re all at a 10. It doesn’t matter anymore,” Deputy Mayo said.

At the end of the day, the deputy said those in law enforcement share one common goal.

“We come in every day, and we try to make a difference, whether that’s getting guns off the street, getting drugs off the street or anything of that nature. We want to better our community and make it a better place for our kids,” Deputy Mayo said.

Deputy Mayo said he’s proud to be a driving force behind creating the community resources team. That brings law enforcement and community members closer together. He says he’s also looking forward to bringing back the police explorers program to guide young people who are interested in law enforcement.