WIU-QC prepared Lieutenant Pedro Valladares to succeed in his career

By Alison McGaughey,
WIU-QC Public Information Specialist

 

Interview with Lt. Valladares:

Where do you work and what is your job title?

I am the Administrative Lieutenant for the Moline Police Department.

 

What is required of you at your position?

I am required to maintain training records, schedule training for all officers, supervise the Field Training Program for new hires, schedule all off-duty work, oversee the body camera system and conduct background investigations for potential new hires.

 

How did WIU-QC prepare you for your job?

WIU-QC provided me with the knowledge and understanding of what is required of an administrator of a police agency. Many of the classes provided me knowledge of organization, scheduling, time management and policy development.

Why did you choose your major or program?

I was employed as a law enforcement officer when I received my bachelor’s degree. I enjoyed learning about the new trends in crime, changes in the law and how those changes affected areas within the realm of law enforcement. I decided to pursue the master’s degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration because I believed it would provide me with the knowledge required to not only obtain an administrative role, but allow me to excel in that role.

 

Lieutenant Valladares teaching students about the Design elements of a squad vehicle.
Photo courtesy of dphilms

Why did you pick WIU-QC for higher education? What did you like the most about your experience here?

The opportunity to have an institution of higher learning so close to home was very convenient for me. It made it an easy decision to pursue a master’s degree knowing I could attend classes locally and still be home with my family each night.

I had an excellent experience during my time as an undergrad. The education I received and students I attended classes with were very enjoyable. I also liked my instructors at WIU. They were very helpful and encouraging when it came to furthering my education.

I would recommend WIU-QC for the convenience of location and quality of instructors. I have had classes in the past where instructors did not want to take the time to assist the student with answering questions or obtaining a complete understanding of the class material. At WIU, I did not have an instructor that made me feel that way. The instructors seemed to care about the student and took the time to provide me with the knowledge to succeed in the class.

 

What was your favorite class/who was your favorite professor? Why?

Criminal Procedure with Dr. Suzanne Bailey (associate professor of law enforcement and justice administration). I enjoyed the class because Dr. Bailey was very thorough while presenting her lessons and provided an environment that was conducive to learning. Dr. Bailey instructed in a manner that brought the best out of every student.

 

What is a memory of WIU-QC that you often think about?

I often think about my time as an undergrad. I had the opportunity to meet young students and made some great friendships. I had the opportunity to observe the students go from learning about law enforcement in the classroom to working in the field of law enforcement.

 

If you could go back to your time as a student, what would you do differently?

I would have pursued a bachelor’s degree in a field other than law enforcement. This would have allowed me the opportunity to gain knowledge in a different area of education that I could have applied to law enforcement, such as psychology or a foreign language.

 

What advice can you offer to current college students who might be interested in going into your field?

I would advise the student to do their research, to be very clear as to what is required of a law enforcement officer in the 21st century. The decision to enter law enforcement should be done before they obtain a degree in criminal justice. I have seen too many young people obtain a degree, get hired by a police agency, and receive academy training only to find out this occupation is not for them or it was not what they expected.

 

What is one thing about your job that you didn’t expect, or that might surprise a current college student?

I did not expect there to be so much writing and documentation required. Nearly everything an officer does requires a report, and that report has to be clear, concise, and in chronological order. It is considered an official document and an officer needs a certain level of writing skills to do it properly.

 

Key Quote:

The opportunity to have an institution of higher learning so close to home was very convenient for me. It made it an easy decision to pursue a master’s degree knowing I could attend classes locally and still be home with my family each night.

 

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