Criminal Justice, B.S.
Why did you choose your major?
I always knew I wanted to be a police officer. I wanted an exciting career which would allow me to help others. I saw law enforcement as a career which would provide endless opportunities for excitement and diverse experiences while allowing me to help others and serve my community.
Did your major help you figure out your purpose?
My major helped me become confident that I had chosen the right career path. What I learned about being a police officer only made me want to be one more. What was more significant was my exposure to other areas of law enforcement which I was not previously interested in. During my time at CBU I interviewed FBI and DEA agents as well as police officers and detectives from a wide array of assignments. I studied numerous local, national and international law enforcement agencies and gained an understanding of them which helped me find the agency and position which was most in line with my abilities and life goals.
What did you think about your professors?
All of my professors had extensive real-world experience in a variety of positions within the criminal justice field. They ranged from a retired 30-year veteran police officer who worked nearly every possible assignment, to a former prosecutor, and even several superior court judges. I have a great deal of respect for my professors. Not only did my professors take the time to give me specific feedback on assignments, but they took the time to give me guidance and advice on how to meet my long-term career goals, both while I was a student and after graduation. Today, more than six years after graduating, I have kept in contact with several of my professors who are still impacting my life in different ways. Dr. Kircher encouraged me to pursue graduate studies and complete my MPA in 2015. Dr. Higley, whom I consider a mentor, helped prepare me for interviews and has continued to give me guidance throughout my career. I truly believe all of my professors cared about my career and went out of their way to help me succeed, even after graduation.
Did you participate in anything else at CBU?
I was a member of the Criminal Justice Club. We had regular meetings at school or at members’ residences, we held firearms instruction once or twice a semester, and we even had an annual Christmas party at our professor’s house.
What have you done since graduating?
I was hired by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 2012 as a deputy sheriff. I graduated top of my academy class in academics. I was hired by the Riverside Police Department as a police officer in 2015 and achieved my lifelong dream of protecting and serving my hometown, the City of Riverside. I earned my MPA from CBU’s local government cohort in 2015.
How has your major and time at CBU prepared you for your life and career after college?
The classes provided a solid foundation for a career in law enforcement. The thorough understanding I gained of constitutional law as well as police and court procedures gave me an edge on my peers as I began my career as a deputy sheriff. Before I even began the sheriff’s academy I understood critical concepts like probable cause, reasonable suspicion, detentions and search and seizure law better than most officers do a year into their career. I grew enough academically that I was well prepared to pursue a graduate degree in public administration and I received a letter of recommendation from a former professor stating that I was one of the top students of her career. My degrees make me a more competitive candidate for hiring and promotions within my field.
Is there anything you learned at CBU that you still use in your professional life
I have a more in-depth understanding of case law and constitutional law thanks to my time spent studying at CBU. Dr. Higley exemplified professionalism and taught me the importance of tact and respect during interactions with peers, supervisors and the general public. He also reinforced the value and importance of personal integrity as a law enforcement officer.
How are you making a difference in the world?
I do my best to represent Christ in the workplace and in my community as a police officer. Although it can be challenging at times and I may falter, I do my best to treat everyone with respect and show them God’s love, as appropriate. Despite the resistance police officers across the nation have recently been encountering, I serve alongside my partners. I humbly serve my community to the best of my ability. I believe I make a difference in someone’s life nearly every day and I believe this is as close as I will ever get to making a difference in the world.
Would you recommend CBU to others?
I recommend CBU to friends and coworkers all the time. I did not take full advantage of all the benefits CBU has to offer and I still enjoyed my time there and received a quality education. The facilities at the school are exceptional, the services for students are nearly endless and not only are the professors highly qualified, but they are determined to see their students succeed.