When Josi Anderson graduated from high school, she gave herself two rules: “I wasn’t going to sit behind a desk forever, and I wanted to give back to my community,” she said. The life of a police officer is not for everyone – chasing speedsters down the highway, putting oneself in harm’s way to protect others, and serving a community no matter what is thrown at you — but for Anderson, becoming a law enforcement major fit the bill of her two job requirements perfectly.
A Foundation of Grace
Anderson completed her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology in three years at Grace, graduating in May of 2020. In just a few years time, she’s had several internships with police departments, she’s been on countless ride-alongs, and she’s made valuable connections with law enforcement officers.
When she came to Grace, Anderson was a new Christian, excited to grow in her faith and learn all about criminal justice in her law enforcement major. For the first few months, she was hesitant about the school, but as she made close friends and got involved, she fell in love with life at Grace College.
“I grew a lot as an individual, learned tons about my career field, and made lifelong friends,” she said. “In my classes, I built a foundation of biblical knowledge that I still use today. My psychology classes have helped me more than anything to understand people I run into as I’m working in my field.”
Anderson looked up to her behavioral science professors, her employers at Grace, her RAs, and her growth group leaders who mentored her along the way.
“They really helped me adjust to Grace life and find my place on campus,” she said.
“You can talk to anyone on campus. Everyone is always so open.”
Besides her mentors, Anderson valued the career events that Grace held, and the tools they gave her to network and discover law enforcement major opportunities. It’s how she got involved with multiple police departments before she even graduated.
Making a Difference with New Opportunities
In the summer of 2019, Anderson interned with the Illinois State Police, going on ride-alongs and learning the ropes of law enforcement in action. The following spring, she interned with the Indiana State Police, then started doing ride-alongs with Carroll County before COVID halted her plans. But her experience in criminal justice wasn’t over. In May, she graduated from Grace as a law enforcement major and then moved on to a new opportunity.
Because of her connections with Carroll County, Anderson was able to start working as a dispatcher and volunteering as an auxiliary in her hometown, which she continues to do today. She’s also taking classes to get her EMT certification so that when she shows up to a scene, she’s equipped to help someone who is sick or injured.
“I spend my time learning about the criminal justice system from all angles, getting to know everyone in the department, and taking every opportunity to get on the road,” Anderson reports.
Working behind the scenes of law enforcement, Anderson is gaining valuable insight which will aid her in her future career as a police officer.
“I don’t think you ever stop learning in this field,” Anderson said. “I’ve always wanted to be there for people. I really think I can make a difference where I am.” – from grace.edu