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Chief Joseph Switzer, ’91, Monmouth Police Department

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF SANDBURG?

I feel that the smooth transition from active duty military service, to being a college student again sticks out in my mind.  Carl Sandburg College made this very easy and made me feel at ease. The atmosphere at Sandburg was very positive making for a great learning experience, and a great adjustment to college life.

WHAT DID YOU GO ON  TO DO AFTER GRADUATING FROM CARL SANDBURG COLLEGE?

Some highlights are continuing my studies at Western Illinois University where I earned my Bachelor's degree in Law Enforcement Administration in the spring of 1994.  I was soon hired as a police officer with the Monmouth Police Department and have been there ever since.  I have continued my education by earning a Law Enforcement Studies certificate from the University of Virginia where I hope to complete my master's degree, I have graduated from Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI National Academy.  I have also earned the title of "Certified Chief of Police" by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.  I also deployed for a year and a half with the Illinois National Guard to Iraq from 2004 to 2006. 

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR NEW POSITION OF MONMOUTH CHIEF OF POLICE?

I was appointed to the position of Chief of Police in July of 2017.  I have worked every position in the police department, and this is the best position by far.  I enjoy working with everyone at the department.  Having an opportunity to make a positive impact on the department and the Monmouth community is what it is all about.  I want to make our community a better place, and I want to make the department the best it can be.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS OR FELLOW CARL SANDBURG COLLEGE ALUMNI?

I would say, the sky is the limit and do not limit yourself or settle for something.  If there is a level or position you want to achieve, jump in and start working towards that.  You are only held back by the limits you put on yourself.  I would also say never stop learning or bettering yourself.  As someone goes through their career or life, there are still opportunities to better yourself whether it be taking another class or reading a book; never stop learning and growing.