It’s always been Raphael and Emanuel Hayes’ dream to work in law enforcement. And thanks to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the twin brothers are living out their dream daily.

It’s always been Raphael and Emanuel Hayes’ dream to work in law enforcement. And thanks to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the twin brothers are living out their dream daily.

“It started back in 2010 when we started working with juveniles and we did that probably five years and we were working with youth [who] were in foster care,” said Raphael Hayes of the Hector Garza Adolescent Residential Treatment Center in San Antonio, Texas. “So, I thought maybe we can further our career a little bit more and we thought about law enforcement since it’s something we always wanted to do.”

Raphael credits Emanuel for choosing the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to be the place they pursue their law enforcement goals.

“Initially, he (Emanuel) had the idea to work for the sheriff’s office,” Raphael Hayes said. “He worked at the hospital, so he’d always run into transport deputies and they would always tell him ‘come over to the sheriff’s office’. So, I remember one day he was telling me, ‘we’re going to the sheriff’s office [to] start working’ and I was like ‘really?’”

So, one interview later, the 29-year-old fraternal twins were donning the uniform and out on the streets as deputies in Jefferson County. It’s the third job the Hayes brothers have worked side-by-side.

“It’s pretty fun, because of course outside of work, we’re pretty much around each other 24/7,” said Emanuel Hayes. “So, when we come to work a lot of people think because you’re twins and you’re always together that you’re not going to get along. But, it’s like the opposite for us. We get along real well.”

On any given day, Raphael and Emanuel are serving warrants or subpoenas, traveling across state lines to transport inmates or appearing in court.

“Everyday is a new experience,” said Emanuel Hayes. “We travel all over. We’ve been to Detroit and Texas, so it’s pretty fun. You never know what you’re going to do. But, you always have to come in with a positive mindset and just be ready to work and be ready to interact with your co-workers and have fun and it makes the job a lot better.”

Even though they enjoy the unpredictability that comes with the job, Raphael and Emanuel agree that it’s their interaction with everyday citizens that’s the most rewarding especially when they realize their twins.

“We get a good reception,” said Emanuel Hayes laughing. “People just love it. They are amazed. They say, ‘wait a minute, are ya’ll (sic) twins’ and we’re like ‘yeah’ and they say, ‘I thought I wasn’t crazy, I just wanted to make sure.’”

In the short time they’ve been deputies at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, they’ve had moments they will remember for the rest of their lives.

“We were working together and we were able to help save somebody’s life,” said Emanuel Hayes. “They were having medical issues and we were able to be there together and help them and talk to them. Other days we’re able to talk to someone who is just not feeling well, kind of depressed or just feels like giving up. It’s not always serving warrants and taking people to jail.”

Both brothers admit that their family was hesitant about them being in law enforcement. However, explaining that “all cops are not bad cops” and reassuring them of their passion for community policing, their family quickly came around.

“When we first started we were nervous,” said Raphael Hayes. “But, that went away the same day. You have to realize you have help. You have backup. You have a positive support system here.”

The men and women of the sheriff’s office have played a critical role in Raphael and Emanuel’s transition including sheriff Lafayette Woods, Jr.

“Sheriff Woods is a role model to us,” said Raphael Hayes. “He’s great [and] very positive. He’s always out in the community doing positive things. So, we always said we wanted to be like that one day. So, just working under him is just one of the best experiences. I would encourage anyone to come work for the sheriff’s office and work under [sheriff] Lafayette Woods.”

Raphael and Emanuel also have a little brother who works at the Jefferson County Jail.

“He eventually wants to come over and follow in our footsteps,” said Raphael Hayes. So, we always encourage him to do a good job.”

Being a positive role model for their family members while serving the community sits at the top of Raphael and Emanuel’s priority list.

“We have a 32-year-old legally blind brother,” said Emanuel Hayes. “We meet different people in the community and deal with a lot of people who have disabilities. So, he was another reason for us going into law enforcement. We always try to make a difference for him...”

Emanuel and Raphael both have children who also motivate them to make a difference in the lives of others.

“I do it for my son as well,” said Raphael Hayes. “He pushes me daily to continue to do this. I look at him and I’m like ‘okay, I’m doing it for the right reasons.’ So, hopefully, one day he’ll decide to follow in my footsteps or this will encourage him to go after what he wants to do.”

With one year down and many more to go, the Hayes brothers admit they are glad to be back in their hometown after being away for several years doing what they love and for a community they love as well.

“We always said we were going to do it and we’re finally here,” said Raphael Hayes.