Jacob Mach, Former Lost Boy Of Sudan, Becomes Atlanta Police Officer
Atlanta Police Officer Jacob Mach
Atlanta, GA – Officer Jacob Mach, a new Atlanta police officer has lived a life most couldn’t fathom. After growing up in war-torn Sudan and trekking hundreds of miles on foot to escape violence, Mach found relief after immigrating to the United States at the age of 21.
Mach came to America with one set of clothes and a three month stipend from the United States government. Determined to succeed, he worked various low-paying jobs, always climbing the ladder and looking for more opportunity. After working for nearly five years to become an Atlanta police officer, Jacob Mach has overcome great adversity to acclimate and learn the required skills to become a sworn police officer. On February 15, 2017, that dream for one of the Lost Boys of Sudan became a reality.
Jacob Mach endured more in his home country of Sudan than most could imagine. War ravaged and displaced, at the tender age of seven Mach fled after government tanks and planes forced them out of their village. He, along with thousands of other children fled to a camp in Ethiopia. He lost his father, a rebel soldier in the war, then lost his mother for nearly four years after being forced to flee again because of the violence. Survival for Mach and the Lost Boys of Sudan often consisted of drinking urine and eating leaves to survive. At the age of 12, Mach then fled again, hiking to the Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya. According to WSB-TV he survived on one meal a day for 10 years, until he was granted immigration status to the United States.
Mach came to the United States at the age of 21. Having been illiterate until the age of 13, he learned broken English in the refugee camp but had little knowledge or understanding of American culture. He worked odd jobs to survive, packing groceries at Publix and stocking the mini-bar at the Hilton for $7.50/hr.
Everywhere Jacob went he succeeded and he took every opportunity presented to him. He eventually worked his way up at the Hilton, working in security, then become the supervisor of security. The position brought him an interest in law enforcement. According to the New York Times after he was the victim of a home-invasion robbery, his respect for the police grew.
Jacob brought his bride to the United States after a nearly three year process. She soon became pregnant with their son and the Mach family began to grow. Jacob became a US Citizen, enrolled at the University of Georgia where he earned a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice and did an internship with the Atlanta Police Department. All of this time, supporting his family in the US and family back in Sudan on a $25,000 income and maintaining a 3.3 GPA.
Fighting incredible odds of one out of every fifteen applicants being accepted, Mach was accepted in 2012 as a recruit for the Atlanta Police Department. Zone 6 officers, after meeting Mach and knowing some of his story, rallied behind him to make sure he was ready for the physical test after failing the first attempt. Every time they would see him, they would have him do ten push-ups, and get down and do them with him.
He ultimately passed the physical exam on round two and moved on. He has worked the last four years to pass firearms and EVOC, areas he greatly struggled in. Jacob overcame disappointment time and time again, but he refused to quit chasing his dream of becoming a police officer. After failing the police academy, he accepted it as God’s timing and spent the next few years working as a code-enforcement officer while continuing to pursue becoming a police officer.
On February 15th, 2017, Officer Jacob Deng Mach was sworn in as an Atlanta police officer. “It is a way of helping people who need help desperately,” Jacob said of policing. Jacob and his son were in high spirits as they celebrated his first day on the job.
We salute you officer Mach and your extremely hard work in achieving your dreams. You are the epitome of the American dream and your story will surely serve you well on the streets of Atlanta. May God watch over you and your family as you work to hold that Thin Blue Line.
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