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Meet Officer Steve Markle, one of the best pool players in the world

This top-ranked trick shot pool player turned pro at 16, but found his true calling in law enforcement

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“I now play pool with a calmness I never had before my years in law enforcement. I can feel it.” – Steve Markle

At 8 years old, Steve Markle’s love for pool blossomed when his father took him to play during a father-son play day. Steve immediately took to the game, showing a natural talent for it.

On one of these pool outings, an old gentleman by the name “Jay May” taught him a trick shot that enabled Steve to sink four balls with one shot. He already loved pool, but this ignited in him a passion for the specialty skill of trick shots.

“While young and living with my parents, I was able to convince my dad to alter the furniture set up in our house’s basement and they bought me a pool table of my own,” said Steve, With the advent of Youtube, Steve was able to expand his repertoire of trick shots. He and a friend began making videos of their own trick shots.

Steve turns pro

At 16, Steve turned pro and went on tour, traveling the country and competing in Pool Trick Shot Tournaments.

He eventually became the fourth-ranked trick shot pool player in the world by the World Pool Association’s Trick Shot Division. He said of his turning pro, “I was fortunate enough to be able to represent the United States twice in a tournament in China and another time when I was selected for Team USA on ESPN’s World Cup of Trick Shots. Both events were televised. “

Steve competed through his college years. Even though there was money to be made depending on how high he placed, and how prestigious the tournament was, it was not enough to turn it into a career.

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Steve Markle is an officer at Lower Makefield Township Police Department in Bucks County, Pa.

Law enforcement, his chosen profession

As he entered college Steve intended on becoming an attorney, however, that all changed after he worked three months as an intern for a law enforcement agency. He knew law enforcement was the career path he wanted to take.

In 2016 Steve entered the police academy and discovered he had to abandon the professional pool trick shot tour. He no longer had either the time to practice or travel. Officer Markle was able to reconcile that sacrifice because he discovered a career he loved.

Steve Markle became an officer for the 41-person Lower Makefield Township Police Department in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was comfortable with his career choice, because he said, “It is a career with pay that allows me to give a good life to my family. The benefits are good also.”

Steve said, “I have also always really enjoyed the socializing required to help people with their problems and the most difficult times in their life.”

The Lincoln commercial

His interest in Professional Pool Trick Shot Tournaments was rekindled when in 2019 Officer Markle was asked to participate in a commercial for television with actor Matthew McConaughey. He worked on creating a television commercial as well as an online commercial in which trick pool shots were used to accentuate the capabilities of a Lincoln.

“I’m in it for the long haul”

Of the two careers, law enforcement is his first love. He said, “I love the camaraderie of officers looking out for each other, who rally around, whenever something negative happens.” Steve is also enthralled by the fact that, “From one minute to the next, you never know what you are going to get.”

One story shared by Markle demonstrates both of these aspects.

A few years back, on a quiet night at about 3 a.m., Steve turned down a street that led to the end of his township and the beginning of an adjacent township. He said, “I didn’t usually travel down this street, because all there is to do there is turn around. But on this night, for some reason, I was drawn down that street.”

As he reached the edge of his jurisdiction he spotted a parked car, containing two unconscious teenage girls, who he discovered as they say, were “knocking on death’s door.”

As it turned out, one was a 15-year-old and the other a 17-year-old. Both were females, who, prior to that night had enjoyed only smoking marijuana together. However, on this occasion, the two decided to make their first purchase of heroin and shoot up together. Instead of sharing their first heroin-induced-high, they overdosed and were about to die, together.

Thanks to Steve Markle’s fortuitous arrival, and his sergeant, who came upon his request for assistance, Narcan was administered to both young ladies who luckily survived.

Pool and law enforcement have something in common

Whether you are talking about Trick Shot Pool or law enforcement, Steve observes that ongoing training is absolutely necessary to excel. “Through repetition in training, you create learned muscle memory for key skills. This ensures you will do things the right way under stress in both law enforcement and Trick Shot Pool,” Steve said.
Steve said his time in law enforcement has improved his pool game because after responding to high-risk situations he has learned to remain controlled and disciplined under stress. He says “I now play pool with a calmness I never had before my years in law enforcement. I can feel it.”

Steve said that he played baseball as well as pool, when he was younger and he was always driven to do things right. He explained, “My law enforcement career allows me every day to do things right and that’s why I am in it for the long haul.”

So for the next 25 years or so, when you dial 911 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, if you are lucky you may get to meet Pool-ice Officer Steven Markle. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Follow Steve online

Lt. Dan Marcou is an internationally-recognized police trainer who was a highly-decorated police officer with 33 years of full-time law enforcement experience. Marcou’s awards include Police Officer of the Year, SWAT Officer of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Domestic Violence Officer of the Year. Upon retiring, Lt. Marcou began writing. Additional awards Lt. Marcou received were 15 departmental citations (his department’s highest award), two Chief’s Superior Achievement Awards and the Distinguished Service Medal for his response to an active shooter. He is a co-author of “Street Survival II, Tactics for Deadly Encounters,” which is now available. His novels, “The Calling, the Making of a Veteran Cop,” “SWAT, Blue Knights in Black Armor,” “Nobody’s Heroes” and Destiny of Heroes,” as well as his latest non-fiction offering, “Law Dogs, Great Cops in American History,” are all available at Amazon. Dan is a member of the Police1 Editorial Advisory Board.