Here's How Steven Seagal Got His Start In Law Enforcement

Kierkegaard was fond of reminding people that truth is subjective. Or at least that's what we think he was fond of reminding people. You can think what you want to think. It's not important, this isn't about Kierkegaard. Or is it? You decide.

The point is that history, arguably all of history, is unknowable. The deepest motivations of the world's players will never be concretely understood. Maybe the United States launched the Apollo program due to a childlike wonder at what possibilities existed out there amongst the stars. Maybe we did it because John F. Kennedy was pumped full of enough amphetamines to make "let's send rocket men to the moon" sound like a very presidential idea. We can never really know.

And the line between fact and speculation only gets more blurred when you're dealing with someone like Steven Seagal, whose claims have always bordered on what psychologists refer to as "Silly Time Make Believe." How did this staple of '90s action shlock and 2000s video on demand become a sworn-in peace officer capable of calling in a suburban tank assault? All we can do is present the pieces of the puzzle. It's nobody's fault that they don't match the picture on the box.

The 80s, man. It was a different time.

As recounted by the LA Times in 2009, Seagal claimed that it all started when he was shooting a movie in Louisiana around the late 1980s. The local sheriff, he said, was so impressed by his martial arts acumen that he asked the film star "to come onto the force and be one of his cops." He further claimed that he went to a police academy in Los Angeles, which the LA Peace Officer Standards and Training organization had no record of. As far as can be ascertained, he was a volunteer sheriff's deputy, less Above The Law and more Dwight Schrute explaining how his life is very much like Above The Law.

Importantly, Seagal has also claimed to have been a secret CIA operative in the '80s, although evidence is hard to come by. How much of his career in law enforcement was a case of "fake it til you make it?" We may never know. What we do know is that in 2013, the Albuquerque Journal reported that Seagal was sworn in as a real-life sheriff's deputy of Dona Ana County, New Mexico, and the region has suffered ~0 Yakuza attacks since then.