Viterbo University’s criminal justice program sees big change

One of the main responsibilites in policing is to let people know you’re there to help.

“They trust you more if they know you,” Viterbo University senior Andrew Kyle said.

For Kyle, he finds getting to know people is his passion.

“I really enjoy that portion of it,” Kyle said. “And make a difference in someone’s life if possible.”

Kyle wasted little time getting to work as soon as he started college.

“When I came to Viterbo, I got into many different volunteer organizations such as Operation RiverWatch and the Campbell Reserves,” Kyle said. “And I got to work with people first-hand and get that experience with them.”

Recently, Viterbo decided to change its criminal justice program to make it more about connecting with others.

“Especially with the way law enforcement is working like building communities and kind of repairing those relationships,” assistant program professor Ryan Anderson said. “We felt our program should reflect that.”

Anderson says it is crucial for students to get involved with people and it could help students in the job hunt too.

“This will make our students more marketable,” Anderson said.

As a RiverWatch volunteer, Kyle’s already seen a lot.

“There’s many people that go down by the river who literally think they’re on the other side of town, and they’re not,” Kyle said. “To them it looks like a large parking lot, especially in the winter time.”

Kyle says being a RiverWatch volunteer can be challenging.

“A lot of people are thankful for me being out there, giving up my time to help them out and make sure that they’re safe,” Kyle said.

Now he feels it’s time to take his duties to the next level.

“I’m ready to get out in the work force and start doing what I came here to accomplish,” Kyle said.

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