After graduating Longwood in May of 2013 I began searching for a job and preparing for my upcoming wedding in November. I applied to Fairfax County Department of Public Communications and after several interviews and tests, I was asked to be a part of the 34th academy class for the next generation of Public Safety Communitors. A public safety communicator is the person who answers the phone when you dial 911 and dispatches the appropriate help out to wherever the emergency is located. The academy was 10 weeks long and tested our abilities to know specific places and areas of the county, dealing with people in crisis when they call, as well as how to answer questions about civil situations (child custody & tow truck disputes) and appropriately give CPR instructions over the phone. After successfully completing the classroom academy, the department releases you to the “communications floor” where all of the fun happens for our 10 week floor training. We take live phone calls while our assigned trainer listens on the line and makes sure you enter the calls appropriately, verify house or apt, and give out the correct information. After 10 weeks of training, I was officially cut loose on January 2nd and have been on my own since. My education at Longwood prepared me to be able to understand the criminal justice system and relate more to the officers, firefighters, and medics that I dispatch.
I plan to continue my education at George Mason University and attend Grad school for Statistics or Crim Theory and move towards a more police oriented job that is more individually handled and not as much of the public is involved. I truely enjoyed Dr. Beard’s Crim Theory class, Dr. Barbrey’s Policing classes and Dr. Burger’s Statistics classes and would love to study further in those topics and potentially move into becoming a crime analyst or policy analyst by utilizing the skills learned in those courses. For now, I’m just enjoying my new married life, my new job, and I’m happy with what my education at Longwood has given me and will take me in the future. I was lucky to be a part of such a fantastic program and I still talk about my professors, the experiences they shared, and everything they have taught me and put it to use to this day.
Sales Service Representative -Mondelez Global (Nabisco Division)
When I came to Longwood University as a freshman my major was Business with a concentration in Computer Information Management Systems. I found out that was not for me which made me step back and think about what I really wanted to do. I explored all my options and all of majors that Longwood had to offer, along with the individual I am and decided on Criminal Justice. I knew I was very passionate about helping people and interested in the Criminal Justice field. I just had to figure out what I wanted to do in the field, and throughout all my crim classes, there were more and more jobs that were interesting. While I was still at Longwood University in my junior year, second semester I was going through the application process with TSA as a Transportation Security Officer(TSO) at Dulles International Airport; hoping to make it count as my internship. I made it to the final stages but was unable to complete the process within the time limit they set due to being a full time student. After getting kicked out of the process I reached out to the Fauquier County Sheriffs Office to see if they had any internship opportunities. It turns out they did and I was able to spend time with the various divisions within the Sheriffs Office. I learned a lot of information and got to see some cool stuff.
Since graduating from Longwood University in May 2013 landing a job in the Criminal Justice field has been very difficult. I applied to Henrico County Police Department and began the application process with them. I made it all the way to the third to last step before the selections but was not selected to move on. I also was in the application process for Stafford County Sheriffs Office, but was put on a waiting list due to the fact that they were only sponsoring 4 individuals in the Regional Academy. Then I applied to a different kind of Criminal Justice position with a Retail Management Company named Forest City Enterprises as a Assistant Security Director at Short Pump Mall in Richmond, VA. Again, I made it all the way to the end of the process and was neck and neck with another candidate and did not get selected. Since then I have still been looking for position in the Criminal Justice field that seems appealing to me. I have also been looking at retail management positions because of all the experience I have in retail. I have been working for Mondelez Global (Nabisco Division) for almost 4 years (throughout my time at Longwood University as a part-time employee). Currently I am a Sales Service Representative for them, and am looking for a promotion or other opportunities in which I can either apply my knowledge I learned from Longwood University and the amazing Criminology Department or the retail experience I have gained through high school and college.
Thank you to all the professors in the Sociology and Criminology Department.
Longwood University Police Officer
I came to Longwood University with a dream of one day becoming a detective and working for the FBI. The only problem was I had no idea how It was going to come to be. I declared my major of Criminal Justice my freshman year in order to become a police officer and it became a passion of mine. When I learned about the program to attend the police academy in Lynchburg, Virginia through the Longwood Police Department during my senior semester I knew that was my chance. I planned my classes around the goal of attending the academy in the Summer and Fall of 2011. After completing the application, taking a polygraph examination, and having a psychological evaluation I was accepted by Chief Beach and the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy board to attend the school in July, 2011. The Academy counted as my internship for my Criminal Justice major and gave me 12 elective credit hours.
The academy experience taught me a lot about myself and what it is like to be a police officer. I graduated the Academy in December, 2011 as a certified police officer in Virginia and was not attached to any police agency. Although Longwood Police sponsored me at the academy they did not have a job open immediately after I graduated, I also had another semester of college left. I returned as a traditional Longwood student in the spring of 2012 to finish my degree. Before I graduated Longwood in May, 2012 there were three openings to the Longwood Police Department, I decided to apply and start my long time passion of becoming a police officer. I have been a Longwood Police Officer for going on two years and it has been a great experience. I have had the opportunity to help many students and citizens of Farmville and I guess that was my dream all along.
Since I graduated from Longwood in May of 2013 my career has been interesting. It is true what Dr. Burger said one day in class, that the economy is tough and finding an adequate career is tougher. Even in our field, we are not the only applicants for a job. There are plenty others out there with a degree, prior experience, and so on. I know because I’ve talked to these people before countless interviews. However, it is important not to fret. For instance, I have been working on achieving a career in either the private sector of criminal justice (thanks to Dr. Beard’s White Collar Crime class) or probation/delinquent counseling. Some may view my current occupation as a restaurant manager as far away from either one of these goals, but it’s not. With my current career, I have gained experience in interviewing, communicating and working with financial documents through examining profit and loss statements, investigating fraud and performing different types of audits. This position has also helped me to gain and not to manager/supervising experience. Also, I am an Officer Candidate for the Virginia National Guard. With these two experiences combined, my resume reflects an individual who can multitask, is self motivated, and now has experience that can outweigh others. These skills will also help me to obtain a career in criminal justice as these skills are also in high demand in that field. Even if you do not land your dream career right out of college and instead take one that you may assume has nothing to do with your major, you can take that career and transform it to reflect experience that aids you in obtaining that dream job. I know because that is what I am currently doing. Thank you Dr. Beard and Dr. Burger for teaching me all you had and aiding me in my career success.
United States Air Force-Pilot
Shortly before graduating in ’08 with a Crim major and Homeland Security minor I began attempting to pursue a lifelong dream of US Air Force aviation. Immediately after graduating I earned my private pilots license and that fall began attending Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. There I was enrolled in Air Force ROTC in hopes of obtaining a pilot slot as well as a Masters of Science in Aeronautics. I was extremely fortunate to get picked for pilot training and after a grueling year of USAF pilot training was picked up to fly my dream aircraft, the C-17. Since then it has been nothing but traveling the globe from Korea to Africa and Afghanistan. I have 2 deployments completed and am looking forward to everything and everywhere else this career will take me.
I know the career isn’t directly related to criminology, but my time at LU certainly set me up for success. I figure being in the military is the ultimate homeland security. My goal is to put in as much time as I can in my military career and after that hopefully transition to a career in an aviation industry or government agency.
Virginia State Trooper
I graduated from Longwood in May 2011, I had my heart set on becoming a Virginia State Trooper, after I completed a 5 week internship program with them. During my internship, the troopers and agents, with whom I had the pleasure of working with, made me feel as though I was apart of the VSP family from day 1.
I applied for the State Police before I graduated from Longwood, I went and took the first of many tests in the application process which was a Physical Test which involved a obstacle course. I failed at my first attempt and although I was disheartened at the time, I would not give up. After a few months had passed, I was selected to come try the course again. My second time around I passed the test. Following the obstacle course an applicant is put through a long application process with the hopes of being chosen to attend the Virginia State Police Academy. I waited over a year for my acceptance letter to arrive in the mail.
The Academy was a long 9 month training process which tested my limits both physically and mentally.
I love my job, everyday is a new experience.
Frederick County VA Deputy Sheriff I
I graduated from Longwood University in May of 2013 with a B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice and a Minor in Homeland Security. I moved back home to Winchester, VA and began applying to every police department I could. In fact, I completed most of my applications in December of 2012. At this time in my life, I didn’t have a real plan on what I wanted to do. When July came around and I still had not yet been hired, I began looking towards the U.S. Army. I had placed my application in and was all ready to go. Unfortunately, or “fortunately”, I was medically denied due to a severe broken wrist that was still recovering.
Towards the middle of July, I was finally contacted by Frederick County VA Sheriff’s Office for the position of Deputy Sheriff I. After a fairly extensive hiring process, I was hired within three days of being notified and was to begin the police academy on the 29th of July.
The police academy was held at the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy in Middletown, VA. During the 20 week academy, we did everything from studying the Code of Virginia in depth, intensive physical fitness, and endless practicals. My favorite part of the academy was Officer Survival training, while my least favorite was getting OC sprayed. Don’t worry, pain is temporary! It will feel like an eternity though!
On December 10th, 2013, I graduated from the academy and began my three months of Field Training with my department. Field Training is stressful, but I’ve already learned so much in such a short period of time. I finished third in my academy in Academics and first in Physical Fitness, as well as third overall. I truly believe that Longwood University helped prepare me for the academy and my career. The Criminal Justice professors at Longwood are truly second to none, and have had a huge impact on my life. I can’t thank them enough.