Humans of Lakeland – Ryan Kron, Criminal Justice

I’ve always had a strong interest in law enforcement
and I actually began as a Police Explorer back when I turned fourteen, so I spent my
entire high school career learning about law enforcement and becoming a police officer,
stuff like that, so when it came time to go to college and I learned about Lakeland’s
Criminal Justice degree, I actually talked to a lot of people in the field and I noticed
that most of them actually have a Law Enforcement degree from Lakeland. So I decided that that’s what I wanted to
pursue to help serve the community and, you know, be involved with people, because I’m
not a desk job kind of guy. I’m an auxiliary police officer for the Fairport
Harbor Police Department and an auxilary deputy sheriff for the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office. Auxiliary means it’s a volunteer position
and I have not yet gone to the Police Academy so I’m allowed to work with them as long as
I’m with a commissioned officer at all times and, like I said, it’s volunteer so it’s a
good way to get a foot in the door before I start the police academy. You know between the Explorers, me working
with the police departments and this degree, I feel so comfortable that when I start the
Police Academy I don’t think it will be a hard endeavor for me, whereas somebody that
knows nothing about the criminal justice field, enters straight into the Police Academy, that’s
all new stuff that you have to combine six hundred hours of material in about three months. I absolutely love it. When I started at Fairport, I started in January
of 2014 and I’ve just, I gotten the opportunity to help so many people. Whether it’s from just a basic side job where
directing traffic at an intersection or actually riding around with a full commissioned officer
and, you know, I’m allowed to do stuff as long as I’m with them and we’re out there
and, you know, you’re making arrests, but you’re helping people, you’re making a difference. In a town like that, it’s such a small community,
you really get to interact with people. You know who you’re talking to and everybody
knows you, too. So, when you help people you feel like you’re
directly helping them, you know? There’s a bad guy going around doing stuff
and you get him off the streets you’re getting him off their streets, you know. They have a safer community and it’s the same
thing out in Geauga County. Even though that’s a bigger area, these people
look for your help, even if it’s something as simple as directing traffic in an intersection. They need your direction and your help to
make sure that everything goes smoothly and they’re safe and I love being able to provide
that for people. The Criminal Justice Degree isn’t just about
teaching you to be a police officer, you know. That’s what we have our Police Academy for,
but it teaches you different ways of thinking and how to serve the community. And there’s so many other community serivce
and government jobs out there that isn’t just law enforcement but directed at helping people
as a whole. Right now, it’s becoming extremely competitive
field. There are tests, when they give a test, they’ll
give a test for maybe one position and there will be three hundred people that take that
test, so you’re up against two hundred ninety-nine other applicants and it’s becoming a tougher
job to get into and I’ve been noticing more and more with our applicants they’re looking
to see that they have a college degree because you have to be able to be that one step ahead
of the other applicants. So they want to know, you know, what have
you done public service wise? Have you volunteered your time to help, not
necessarily like an auxiliary officer like I am, but even just volunteering at a local
hospital or with Red Cross or something like that. And they want to know what kind of education
level do you have. Do you just have a high school diploma like,
maybe two hundred of the applicants or did you take the extra step to get a college degree
so you know what you’re doing. I think it’s my suggestion to people that
are looking to go into this field that, you know, going and getting a degree is probably
your best bet so that you know, you’re ahead of the curve, you’re ahead of everyone else
and you feel more comfortable with the job that you do.

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