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Catholic Central Hosts Law Enforcement Drive Development Day

On Friday, May 10, 2024, retired Detroit Assistant Chief of Police, Steve Dolunt, and current Detroit Police Officer, Kevin Turner, with a combined 40 years of experience in the profession, spoke to Catholic Central students about a career in law enforcement during the school’s final Drive Development Day of the year. 

During the workshop, students learned about the recruitment process, career opportunities in the field, and the modern policing experience in a major city. Each speaker shared personal stories of their experiences on the job, stopping to answer questions from students when they came up. 

Dolunt engaged students by asking what each attendee wanted to do when they graduated from CC. He asked for student volunteers to help reenact real-life scenarios of police encounters on the job and explained how to handle each situation safely. He also advised students to have a healthy outlet to help deal with the things they will experience as a police officer in the city. 

“When you leave the police department at the end of your shift, you need a hobby or person to go home to that can help deal with what you’ve seen on the street,” Dolunt stated. He went around the room and asked what sport or extracurricular activity each student was involved in, explaining that these things are all good ways to deal with the psychological aspect of the things they would see on the job.

He explained to students that they are in the best place here at CC.

“You guys have no idea how good you have it until you leave this school here. You guys are blessed. Some of you don’t know what you want to do because you're freshmen and that’s OK. Law enforcement is a great option. Even if you do law enforcement for a few years and go onto something else, like becoming a businessman or lawyer, it gives you a great perspective on life. You go through good times and bad times.”

Turner discussed the benefits of entering law enforcement as a career and why someone would want to do it. 

“Why would you want to choose law enforcement? I can tell you I did it because it offers excitement. You get to chase the bad guy. Nowadays, there is no limit to the things you can do. You can go into technology, canine, or fly helicopters. Really any of your interests, you can express in being a cop,” stated Turner. 

He also explained what to expect in the police academy. 

“The police academy is six months long. You learn discipline and the law. You get paid to go through the academy, and then you’ll graduate and hit the streets. You’ll be on regular patrol, which is answering 911 calls. This could range from homicides to attending gas station robberies. Once you do that for a while, you can go into special operations. I have done proactive work, narcotics, undercover work, and more,” stated Turner. 

“If you’re going to become a police officer, make sure you exercise and stay in shape. That’s a big problem right now. Familiarize yourself with firearms and have a functional understanding of the law. You don’t want to go out there and violate anyone’s rights. You will go to court. When you go on the stand and an attorney tears you up, it’s not a good feeling,” Turner continued. 

Dolunt expressed the importance of handling life-threatening situations professionally, such as those involving guns and drugs. 

“A cop goes the extra mile if you look like the bad guy. The cop is looking for the car or the bad guy. When I first came out, I was a police officer. Then I became a cop. Are you ready to take someone’s life? That’s huge. And that’s why so many cops struggle. You’re always worried about the gun, which can kill you, but you also have to worry about fentanyl and other drugs,” Dolunt stated. 

“It’s a rewarding career. As you can see, I’m not the most professional guy in the field. But if you do what’s right, you’re never wrong,” Dolunt continued.

He concluded by discussing what to do if you’re pulled over and the different areas of law enforcement students can go into, including canine, mounted, boats, accident investigator, homeland security, lawyers, and tech. 

“These are competitive spots that are hard to get into, but just put in for it. All they can do is say no. Be confident in yourself and have the fortitude to go after what you want to do,” Turner concluded. 

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