Three officers were recently promoted at Miami University Police Department (MUPD). Police Chief Stephen VanWinkle said he is proud of the team and grateful that all members have continued to step up since he became chief last summer.
Sgt. Howard has been on the MUPD force for five years and in law enforcement for eleven. He served as a trooper for the Ohio State Highway Patrol from 2011 until joining Miami. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Toledo and is a 2011 graduate of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy.
"The most rewarding aspect of working at Miami University is having the opportunity to witness the progression of our student body from recent high school graduates to young adults who are well equipped to begin their professional careers in whatever field they choose," he said. "Miami graduates are leaders in their fields of study, and often go on to patent new inventions, build and design skyscrapers, and become powerful business men and women. I get the opportunity to assist them in this transformation, which gives me a sense of accomplishment and purpose. This job provides me the unique opportunity to witness their promise turn to fruition."
Sgt. Howard was recruited to MUPD in 2016 by Chief VanWinkle, who was then a captain. They were working a speech detail. Sgt. Howard said he was "intrigued by his obvious passion for the department" and impressed with the beauty of campus. He's been at Miami ever since.
"I would like our students to know that MUPD is here to support them," Sgt. Howard said. "Our job is to ensure that they are safe and that their possessions are secure. I have known our officers for a number of years and every one of them is genuinely concerned about the welfare of the students. Most of us are parents ourselves, so we recognize and are familiar with the issues facing today's students. We are real people under all that uniform and we only want to see you succeed."
Det. Howard has been with MUPD for five years and in law enforcement for 15. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati.
"I have always been interested in the criminal justice process, but not in law enforcement. I wanted to investigate for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). So, I enrolled in the police academy and was hired by a municipal police department to use as a stepping stone to gain work experience," she said. "But while I was there, I realized I enjoyed working with the public. I enjoyed each day was different. I enjoyed not being bound to a desk, and I enjoyed building a rapport with the community I served. I am a people person, I am compassionate and can empathize, and I also can be tough. Policing became my career."
She said she enjoys Miami's close-knit community and says it's an "embarassment of riches," given the numerous opportunities for networking and growth for students, faculty and staff, and alumni. She said she also appreciates the events and lectures that give a unique perspective from industrial trail blazers, and entrepreneurs.
But what she treasures most is her work with students.
"It is never a dull moment working with students," she said. "They keep me motivated. It is not always about issuing summonses and arrests. There are a lot of calls for service and teachable moments, and that gives me a feeling of purpose. It allows me to guide the students in the type of way that will foster their success in the future."
Sgt. Roberts has been with the department for four years and in law enforcement for 14 years. She is a member of the Butler County Sexual Assault Response Team. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati.
"I enjoy working at Miami because it is a close community full of people driven to learn to do things better," she said. "I would want students to know that we are here to support them in completing their education by making sure they have a safe community to live and study in."
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