Interview with Michael Bodin
Date: January 14, 2013
Name: Michael A. Bodin STGC(SW), USN-Ret.
Major, minor, and graduation year: Individualized Major - Campus Safety, 2008
Job Title: Security Officer-4 (Campus Safety Officer)
Organization/Place of work: UW-Superior Department of Public Safety (Campus Safety)
You're a Campus Safety Officer, what does that entail?
We work to provide safety and security and other public services to our campus community in a 24/7 operation.
What are your duties or responsibilities?
Duties of Security Officer - 4
Campus Safety Officer
- Act as Director when Director is away or as directed.
- Maintain and review reporting system.
- Assist other officer's with reporting system problems.
- Compile all daily/monthly/annual reports.
- Edit and maintain Campus Safety Web Site and assist with Parking Services Web Site.
- Conduct some investigations.
- Maintain annual duty roster.Provide public services as needed.
- Assist Director in daily administrative actions.
- Attend training when available.
- Squad maintenance as needed.
- Maintain and locate Campus Safety files for director as needed.
- Patrol randomly.
- Make bank runs as needed.
- Teach Prime for Life (Alcohol/Drug awareness) course as needed.
- Other activities as needed.
What are the highlights of your job that you enjoy most?
I enjoy completing our daily administrative responsibilities and editing our web site the most. I also enjoy getting out into the campus on my alone days and talking with other workers and students about campus Life. Teaching the Prime for Life course has had its rewards as well when you find out that you have actually gotten the message to young people about the real value of making low risk choices in their lives. I love working here on our small and inclusive, overall very safe campus.
What are the challenges that you face with your job that are not enjoyable?
I dislike having to issue state citations to people that are caught violating the state statutes that I can write citations for. I wish that all people on our campus would be much nicer, and always law abiding, than some of them are…
How do you spend your work days?
Monday through Wednesday I am normally in our office taking care of dispatching the other day officer to calls and working on the daily administrative functions that our office has to keep up with. Thursday and Friday I am the duty day officer and conduct random patrols of the campus, bank runs, and answer any other calls as needed.
Do you spend a lot of time office/lab/meetings/outside/___?
My time is spent both in our office and out and about on our campus and sometimes going to locations off campus as needed.
How did this type of job/field interest you and how did you get started?
I was looking for meaningful employment after I retired from US Navy active duty and found out that the University was hiring LTE Security Officers. I had tried my
hand at working for the Wisconsin DNR as a part time Creel Census field data collector first, but I needed full time employment with benefits.
I was a Surface SONAR Technician and worked on the Nuclear Weapons Handling and Security Teams on several of the ships that I was assigned to during my enlistments.
Physical security was taken very seriously in that line of work. I brought that training to this job opportunity back in 1996. After working as an LTE Security Officer for a few months I found out that the state was giving the state Security Officer exam at WITC. I took the exam and scored number 13 in the state. That was a high enough score to garner an interview for a full time position. I interviewed and was accepted and have been employed here as a state Security Officer ever since.
What qualifications did you need to obtain this job?
Some experience in security, a high school diploma, and to pass the state exam with a high enough score to garner an interview.
What personal qualities or abilities do you believe contribute most to success in this job/field?
A willingness to learn and work well with others is the most important qualities or abilities that contribute to success in this job.
What organizations were you involved in College that helped you towards your career?
What degree/s is appropriate for this line of work?
I would highly recommend using the Individualized Major (BS) program that our campus offers through the Distance Learning Center and try to get as many classes that have to do with communications, psychology, and any other areas of study that might be helpful to you as an individual in making the best of your abilities in the Campus Safety job field.
Where and/or what do you hope to be in 2-5 years? 5-10 years?
I have been working for the University for about 17 years now. I hope to be able to stay here until I can retire again.
What are the keys to this career advancement?
I have found that looking for any training opportunities in our field and taking advantage of them has helped me advance. The other thing that helps a great deal is working with your director and others on and off campus to try to make this as safe of an environment for working and studying as possible opens many doors of opportunity as well. Always be ready to learn more and try not to be too selfish with your time and efforts. Do not be afraid to plant seeds of change that are within your ability to help out with if/when they are allowed to grow…
What was the best piece of advice you received and from who that helped you towards your career?
Do what you do as well as you can do it and you will be noticed for what you do. This advice has come from my directors and professors that taught me the courses that I took to complete my Individualized Major in Campus Safety.
Do you have any advice or "words from experience" for a college student interested in this job/field?
Do the best that you can with what you can do well and the other not so well things will work themselves out in due time. Learn from your experiences and be
open-minded and willing to adapt and to change with the world and people around you. Nothing ever stays static in this field. There is always something new to
learn about and try to at least be good at if not master totally…
If you knew all this back in college, what would you say were the most important classes? Is there anything you would have paid more attention to? Any additional classes you would have taken?
I began my studies here in 1979 with an interest in small business. I found out that I was not very good at that so I looked into changing my field of interest to Fisheries Management. I had a change of opportunities and decided to discontinue my studies here and re-enlist back into the US Navy. I finished up my Navy career with 21 years total service and retired from active duty in January of 1996. I returned to my studies here in 2004 when I discovered our Distance Learning Center program and it met all of my needs toward yet another field of study of my choosing, Campus Safety. I finally finished up my required credits and areas of study in December of 2008. My degree has not helped me in advancing in my career any further because I was already at the top of the advancement ladder when I graduated. Perhaps it might be very helpful to me if I should ever be forced to find work elsewhere in my field…
In college, people claim that a bachelor's degree isn't enough anymore and that you need a master's or doctorate degree to get your foot in the door. What's your opinion?
I believe that each person is unique in their abilities and what can make them shine to themselves and those around them. The biggest factor in how far you decide to become educated is in really understanding your own ego. What is driving you and how far do you need to go to get where you want to be? Do you have the time and resources to pursue further education before attempting to enter the work force in your chosen field of work opportunity? I have heard it said that it is never too late to go back to college and pursue a higher degree or to change your course of employment if your first attempt at it does not turn out quite the way you had envisioned it to be. Our Distance Learning Center program is a great way to take advantage of continuing educational opportunities no matter where you are or what time you may have available to you for studying and improving your life. Some people even do this just to say that
they have completed it, and show it on their wall, even if it does not help them advance any further in their lives and careers…Maybe it is just plain for fun for some!
NEVER STOP TRYING TO LEARN!