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Christian Washington ’21 — Striving to Make a Difference in his Community

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Christian Washington ’21 is currently enrolled in the 109th Mid-Michigan Police Academy as a sponsored recruit at Lansing Community College and is on track to graduate on May 6, 2022. After completing the program, Christian plans to be officially sworn in to the Lansing Police Department and to start the field training process for officers.

While Christian is on the path to achieving his goals, the hard work and dedication to get there began as a criminal justice major at Olivet College. He originally hoped to become a conservation officer due to his love for the environment and animals. Christian’s goal later changed to becoming a police officer when he noticed that his community was struggling with increased violence, especially involving youth, and he wanted to do his part to address the issue.

Christian’s journey to the police academy began with a rigorous application process that lasted five months. “I had to attempt and earn a passing grade on a reading and writing test as well as a physical fitness test. From there, I had my interview with the department that was sponsoring me. This consisted of four members from the Lansing Police Department, one of them being the chief,” Christian explained.

Following Christian’s interview with the department, he had to undergo a thorough background check, a psychological evaluation and a physical that consisted of vision, hearing, drug and blood tests. “I had to get all of these tests done to ensure that I was medically capable to attend the academy. After I finished this process, I was officially hired as a recruit,” Christian said. “The academy is 17-18 weeks long, and during it you learn a multitude of different information with the goal of building a solid foundation beneath your feet to ensure you are capable to perform to the standard that is set for someone to become a police officer. Some of the objectives you learn during this time are legal law, defensive tactics, how to use firearms, emergency vehicle operation, motor vehicle law, first aid, traffic crash investigation, CPR, narcotics, crime scene investigation and report writing.”

In addition to completing the police academy, Christian is planning for a career with the Lansing Police Department and is eager to explore numerous specialty units such as SWAT, K9, Crime Scene Investigation and many more. He said, “I personally have been having a great time watching my progress and improvements since I started in week one to where I am now in week 15 of the academy.”

Christian is excited to see his hard work and dedication continue to pay off. He is eager to achieve his personal goals, but he is also motivated by how he can serve his community. “I want to continue to be a role model for struggling youth in my community. I plan to attend graduate school at Michigan State’s School of Criminal Justice in pursuit of my master’s degree in cybersecurity,” Christian said.

Christian is grateful for both the field knowledge as well as the personal growth he experienced at Olivet College in preparing him for a successful future. He was a part of the Boxing Club, the Optimist Club and Alpha Lambda Epsilon, as well as serving as a student employee for Campus Safety. “My involvement in these organizations helped form me into the person I am today by putting me into a position that required me to be outside of my comfort zone, while adapting to new situations and learning from my own experiences,” Christian said.

Christian mentioned that the thing he misses the most about Olivet is the tightknit community that he was a part of. “There was a ton of support from not only my peers, but the staff as well. That level of engagement is rare, and I am grateful that I was able to experience it as a student,” Christian added.

At the end of his senior year, Christian was honored with the Criminal Justice Student of the Year award as well as the Campus Safety Student Employee of the Year award. “Winning these awards made me feel confident and prepared me to venture into the post-graduation phase by implementing the teachings, practices and skills that I learned while at Olivet. All of these things have helped me accomplish the goals that I have set for myself, whether they are career driven, finance driven or personal. These awards aided to the mindset that nothing is impossible, and everything is within reach,” Christian said.

Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

This piece was written by Julia Bidelman, a senior majoring in journalism and mass communication. She serves as an intern in the marketing and communications department and is especially interested in social media. After graduation, Julia plans to continue her work as a content creator, photographer and social media manager, and she hopes to work in the field of social media for a small business or nonprofit organization.

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