Dale Gustafson was a police officer for 30 years, and 28 of those years were with the Homewood Police Department where he retired as a Deputy Chief – a position he held for 16 years.  A large portion of his career involved working with children and young people, training police officers (Academy Instructor and Field Training Officer) and community relations. Gustafson retired and became Chief of Police of the Berkeley (IL) Police Department for two years. He then left the Berkeley Police Department to take the position as Director of Campus Safety and Security for Trinity Christian College.

(Photo Courtesy of Dale Gustafson)

(Photo Courtesy of Dale Gustafson)

Gustafson holds a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Chicago State University and two Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Management and Criminal Justice from Calumet College of St. Joseph.  He served as an adjunct faculty member for Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety for 17 years, teaching a variety of law enforcement supervision and administration courses. He is still an adjunct faculty member at Prairie State College where he has taught criminal justice courses for the past 21 years.

What are the scope and responsibilities of your current role?

“As the director, I am responsible for the overall safety of everyone on campus, ranging from crime prevention/detection, fire safety, emergency preparedness/response and risk management.  I am the Clery Compliance Administrator and am responsible for publishing the college’s annual security report, crime statistics and fire safety report.  Our department also plays an important role in any special events or large gatherings that take place on campus.”

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

“Interacting with the students, faculty and staff.  We have a great campus community.  Many times the students will just stop and talk or, on occasion, ask for advice.  It’s very rewarding to help people, and if I can do that, I feel like I’ve done something worthwhile.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

“My education and my life’s experiences have served me well in my current role.  Oral and written communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills and general human relations skills have been the most beneficial to me.”

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

“Make the extra effort to perform well, take advantage of every opportunity you have to develop and utilize your entire skill set, follow the “Golden Rule”, be fair with people and be empathetic – it gives perspective to life’s challenges and each individual you interact with.”

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of CraftKitsForKids.com and MichelleGuilbeau.com Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.