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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 04/25/12
Above, a crowd gathers around Bullet, a member of the K9 Unit, trained in tracking, narcotics, patrol, article searches, handler protection and apprehension with owner Sgt. Phil Neumeyer, Macomb County Sheriff Department. Below top, Detective Julia Frantz of the Richmond Police Department speaks with Tyler Alcon, 2009 Romeo graduate, about his interest working for the Drug Enforcement Administration. Below bottom, Peter Krause, sophomore, waits to speak with Sgt. Neumeyer of the Macomb Canine Unit.
(Observer photo by Judith Kimpan)
Professionals talk about their
careers in law enforcement
by JUDITH KIMPANThe Careers in Law and Criminal Justice Workshop held April 21 at the Romeo Engineering and Technology Center (RETC) was designed to expose those interested in a law or criminal justice career an opportunity to meet with currently working professionals.
Observer Special Writer
This program was sponsored by Judge Denis LeDuc and the 42-1 District Court, Macomb Community College, the Greater Romeo-Washington Chamber of Commerce and Romeo Community Schools along with various civic organizations.
After a continental breakfast prepared by students of the Culinary Arts Program at RETC, the audience broke into six smaller groups that adjourned to different classrooms for individual presentations.
Students were at the event to learn what it takes to be in law enforcement as each speaker shared experiences that led them into the field of law enforcement or criminal justice.
"We care and want to help people. It isn't money driven. You'll hear this from others," said Steve Fox, Macomb County assistant prosecuting attorney.
It wasn't about money for Kevin Barnwell. He left a well paid position and took a pay cut to work at the Macomb County Juvenile Justice Center, but believed it was worth it to have rewarding work.
Judge Mark Switalski talked about his career culminating in being appointed chief judge by the Michigan Supreme Court. He stressed: "Be active in your community. Get to know everyone."
Conservation Officer Kris Kiel and Detective Neil Donahue, Michigan State Trooper and County of Macomb Enforcement Team (COMET), discussed how their jobs were different, but they often worked together. A conservation officer specializes in protecting natural resources, including handling hunting and fishing violations but can work as a back-up officer and can team up with a state trooper. This allows a trooper off-road access using patrol boats, air boats, jet skis or four-wheelers.
Donahue cautioned students to look past the glamorous or prestigious appeal of various positions in law enforcement.
"Our job is tedious, reams of paperwork, sometimes exciting or sometimes terrifying," said Donahue.
Many were interested in what the Federal Agents had to say. Special Agent Jeff Eberle, Washington Township resident and graduate of Romeo High School, advised those wanting to be in the FBI to have patience.
"Thirty years old is the average age to enter the FBI," said Eberle.
Sgt. Phil Neumeyer, a 30-year veteran of the Macomb County Sheriff's Office, brought in the youngest member of the law enforcement team, 6-year-old Bullet, the German shepherd he works with in the K9 unit.
Federal Agent George Golliday, Homeland Security federal investigator, discussed his role in uncovering international financial crimes.
"Be assertive, agencies won't hire people who have a laissez-faire attitude in law enforcement," was Golliday's advice to those in attendance.
Law enforcement representatives encourage students to learn a foreign language or acquire additional computer skills which can set them apart from others in today's competitive market. The importance of having a clean record, common sense and good academic records was stressed. The competition for jobs is great and background checks have intensified.
"Whatever you do when you're young comes back to haunt you," said Kenneth Krygel, 25-year veteran of the Detroit Police Dept. and nationally recognized drug expert. He emphasized "Facebook is not your diary."
Detective Julia Frantz, Richmond Police Dept., summed up the passion of the various speakers best with her comment.
"I love my job, I can change a life."