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Recently hired UPD officers hope to improve engagement on campus

By Annie Goodman
On June 13, 2017

In the past two years, the University Police Department has hired five new officers Michael Aleman, Jason Dean, Madison Morse, Earl Thomas III and Douglas Windham.
Zachary Araki/ The Lion's Roar 

In the past two years, the University Police Department has hired five new officers Michael Aleman, Jason Dean, Madison Morse, Earl Thomas III and Douglas Windham.

Some of the officers are new to law enforcement, such as Aleman who has been in law enforcement for three months.

“I chose to go into law enforcement because I have always had a drive to serve other people,” said Aleman. “I believe that law enforcement is the best way to help my community. I chose to join UPD because I am already familiar with the campus and enjoyed the environment surrounding it. Honestly, it feels great. I am excited for the opportunity to protect and serve.”

Other newly hired officers have more experience such as Dean, who has been in law enforcement for almost 11 years. He wants to be a positive example in the community and show people that officers can be approachable.

“I was told that it was a great place to work with great people,” said Dean about UPD. “I hope to make the people on campus feel they can walk up and have a normal conversation with a police officer. Many people think the only time a police officer wants to talk there is something wrong and that could be so far from the truth. We are people too.”

Morse chose this path after being raised around law enforcement.

“Law enforcement is in my blood, most of my family has been involved in LE in some way,” said Morse. “I personally sought after this path to actively be a part of my community. I am very excited to be a part of the UPD. The department works hard to keep the campus safe. To be a part of the work they do, is an honor.”

Thomas, however, decided to join after being helped by police officers.

“I decided to become a police officer after experiencing a major life incident where the police were able to comfort me,” said Thomas. “That day I decided I would like to become an officer so I may one day comfort someone else. One of my primary goals as an officer is to improve the relationship between the SLU community and the University Police Department. I want students, guests and staff members to know that not all police officers are mean. We like to laugh and joke around like everyone else. I also want everyone to know that officers are approachable and just because we’re around doesn’t mean someone is in trouble.”

Windham, who has been in law enforcement for five years, decided to join law enforcement after serving in the military.

“My children are what inspire me as an officer,” said Windham. “To provide for them a better world to live in than what I had growing up. To instill in them not only to follow the law, but to be a part of the community around them. More importantly, to trust in God, who will guide them. I chose UPD because I have a son that goes to school here at Southeastern. Also, my wife and I have fallen in love with Hammond and the people here.”

These officers wish for people to know that they are approachable, but they also work to keep the campus community safe.

“The best part about being a police officer is knowing I can help make a difference in somebody’s life,” said Thomas. “As a University Police Officer, I’m able to help educate and protect the community I serve. One of my most memorable moments working for the University Police is being the officer that recovered a missing 9-year-old SLU Lab School student.”

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