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For Joseph Sears, a 2015 Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice alumnus, becoming a police officer was something he’s always wanted to do.

“Ever since I was a child, I knew that I wanted to be a Police Officer. I looked up to and respected every officer I met and dreamed of one day being able to put on the uniform and go to work.” Sears, who took his oath of office in May of 2016, said. “I am extremely honored to be able to work for a department of this caliber and am proud to serve the people of the City of Auburn Hills.”

Prior to becoming an officer for the Auburn Hills Police Department, Sears graduated from the 97th Class of the Mid-Michigan Police Academy, where he received awards in driving, report writing, academics, marksmanship, and weapons management. His time at Michigan State prepared him for such success.  

“I had many incredibly educational and rewarding experiences at Michigan State. The staff and professors in the School of Criminal Justice genuinely cared about me and what my future aspirations were,” Sears recalled. “They did whatever they could in order to make sure that I had what I needed to be successful.”

The School of Criminal Justice at MSU is the home of the oldest continuous degree-granting program in Criminal Justice in the U.S.  In addition to more than 200 programs in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies, MSU has upwards of 900 student groups and numerous on-campus employment opportunities, all of which Sears took advantage of. 

“My time in the Spartan Marching Band taught me the importance of teamwork and how to effectively work well with other people. My on-campus student employment at the MSU Police Department contributed immensely to my professional development. The hundreds of tours I gave to prospective students and their families gave me confidence and reminded me just how lucky I was to call Michigan State University my home for four years,” Sears said. “The list can go on and on, but I know I am forever grateful for all of the people I met and the experiences that I had at MSU. Go Green!” 

Now, as an Auburn Hills Police Officer, Sears works alongside other Spartans who have graduated from MSU in the School of Criminal Justice as well. All of whom work every day to keep the city safe.

“This job affords me the opportunity and ability to help people when they are going through some of the worst times in their life. People thank us for this job but it’s more than just a job, it’s a calling.” 

Author: Paula Davenport