First Graduates of New Law Enforcement Major Ready for Duty

Two graduates of the new Law Enforcement major at Crown College are ready for duty.

The new major, part of the Humanities department, is attracting attention due to a renewed interest in the law enforcement field in the United States and the fact that there is a nationwide shortage of police officers.

Isaac Elseth and Derick Boese are the first Law Enforcement graduates in school history. According to Elseth, the new major was a significant step in his career ambitions.

“I really liked how the major was applicable to current events and the present reality of the career field,” says Elseth, who graduated in May. “The major prepared me very well mentally and emotionally for not only the technical knowledge I would need, but also on how to deal with some of the difficult parts of the career field.”

The major joins two other majors within the Humanities department, Criminal/Social Justice and a new Criminology major.

“All three majors have some overlap, though there are distinct classes for each major and distinctions for how each would be best used in your career path,” says Dr. Melessa Henderson, the Assistant Professor for the program. “Law Enforcement is most ideal for students who are fairly certain they want to be a police officer in the state of Minnesota. If a student is not set on being a police officer, Criminal/Social Justice or Criminology may be a better option.”

What makes the new major so unusual is that Crown offers a biblically based approach to training in a field that is all about serving the public and practicing integrity.

“By taking law enforcement and criminal justice classes at Crown, I learned how to integrate my faith in my work and how I can use this specific career field to be a light for people who are going through difficult times,” says Elseth.

According to Elseth, the Law Enforcement major helped him learn about all of the state and federal laws he needs to know to be a police officer. He says he also learned about the social skills required in his profession.

“My goal is to have a long career in law enforcement, whether that means being a patrol officer or working in a supervisory or training position,” he says. “As long as I can be making a positive difference in other people’s lives in a career that revolves heavily around serving a community of people.”

As for advice he would give to current students pursuing the same major: Elseth recommends students get involved early with a local police force in some capacity, and definitely by their senior year of college, he says.

“The more experience you can get before you graduate the faster you are going to get into the job you want,” he says. “The more connections you have, the more knowledge you’ll gain and your chances are better of getting a job if you have law enforcement references. Study hard and take the classes seriously — it’s valuable and applicable information.”

Dr. Henderson says another distinctive of the Law Enforcement major is that students have the opportunity to observe what it is like for those in both active deployments and public service.

“Our students have toured the FBI, the Minnesota State Capitol, met a former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice at his office, toured the Carver County Courthouse, gone to a gun range (an event free to students and funded by the range and local political leaders), a senior breakfast at my home, and other educational and fun outings,” she says.

“We also have met and listened to many impressive guest speakers, ranging from local Constitutional Law expert Marjorie Holsten, State Representative Jim Nash, St. Thomas Law School Dean Robert Visher, and many others,” she added.

Adjunct Professors for the new major include Derek Lee, a Crown alumnus who is the Police Chief in Olivia, Minnesota; David Thompson, the Police Chief in Howard Lake; and Tracy Harris, a former prosecutor who now works in child protection services.

For more information about the new Law Enforcement major and how to apply, visit the crown.edu website or contact Crown at 952-446-4100.