Chad Haas, a first-year criminal justice student at Central Lakes College, will represent law enforcement students across the country on the executive board of the American Criminal Justice Association.
Haas, a Sartell resident, was elected at the recent ACJA national conference in Memphis, Tenn., as part of the only Minnesota contingent, all from the Sigma Delta chapter at CLC.
Haas carpools 120 miles five days a week to classes on the Brainerd campus, where by this time next year he plans to be ready for the peace officer licensing exam. He wants to be a patrolman, and as a dog lover would welcome the chance to have a canine partner.
"I'll go wherever the best opportunity exists, hopefully in the Midwest," said the 26-year-old Wisconsin native. Before that, in his new role as student liaison with ACJA, he expects to log some travel miles to hear about issues and concerns among students in as many regions of the nation as possible.
CLC student Chad Haas plans to be a police officer.
At least twice in the coming year he will sit at the table among professionals in law enforcement and higher education when the board meets. "There will be some committee work, too," he said, and already his daily e-mails from peers in law enforcement throughout the United States has reached 40.
He said he took time to discover, somewhat by trial and error, what his educational path would be after high school. He had been raised in an athletic environment with a respect for baseball, aquatics and the endurance that sustains those in law enforcement.
"I had two neighbors in it," he said. "One was an inspector, the other a detective. There were always cop cars around."
When his father died at age 48 in 2003, Haas stepped back from more than two years of work in a St. Cloud boat store. He had not liked the experience as a university student but was drawn to the concept of service in public safety.
"A part-timer at the boat store was also on the Waite Park police force, so I did a few ride-alongs," said Haas. "That was a positive development."
Today, as an honor student at CLC and the new president of the Sigma Delta chapter, Haas seems as focused as one could be on a path toward making a difference. He works as a private security guard for off-campus housing, is remodeling his own home, and pays part of his tuition by working for instructors and in the Admissions Department. As a Student Ambassador, Haas helps recruit students.
"I am enjoying the experience," he said.
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