Tag Archives: Criminal Justice

A Minnesota leader you didn’t know is a Metropolitan State alum: Kathy Wuorinen

Saint Paul’s Interim Chief of Police, Kathy Wuorinen

Kathy Wuorinen, a 2004 Metropolitan State University Outstanding Student, who graduated with a bachelor of science in law enforcement, was named interim Chief of Police. Her duties began with the retirement of Chief Tom Smith on May 10.

The appointment made Wuorinen the first woman to lead the Saint Paul Police Department.

Mara Gottfried reported in the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

“Wuorinen rose through the St. Paul Police Department’s ranks and now she’s poised to take the helm as the interim chief, where she’ll make history by becoming the first woman to lead the city’s police department, Mayor Chris Coleman announced Thursday.

“Wuorinen did not apply for the chief job, and said she plans to continue at the police department after her time as interim chief.

“As assistant chief, Wuorinen has been in charge of the police department’s support and administrative functions, which includes the training unit, bomb squad, research and grants, and human resources. She has worked throughout the department, including as  patrol officer, homicide investigator and commander of the narcotics and vice unit.
“She started the Rice Street beat, where officers focus their patrols on a geographic area with the goal of getting to know the community,when she was a sergeant in the Central District. The area holds a special place in her heart—she grew up just off Rice Street.
“Wuorinen, 52, has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s in business. She lives in Woodbury with her husband of 20 years, John Wuorinen, who is a St. Paul police sergeant in the internal affairs unit.”

Read more about Wuorinen in the Pioneer Press.

What leadership role will your Metropolitan State degree bring to your career?

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A Minnesota leader you didn’t know is a Metropolitan State alum: Ramona ‘Mona’ Dohman

Top Cop: Minnesota’s Public Safety Commissioner

For the past four-plus years, this 1998 Metropolitan State graduate has claimed one of the state’s top public-trust posts—Minnesota’s Public Safety Commissioner.

At the time of her appointment in 2011, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that “Dohman’s passion and faith in justice have led her to blaze some trails. In every law enforcement position she has held, Dohman’s been the first woman—as an officer in two small-town police departments; in the Maple Grove Police Department, where she worked as police chief for the last 10 years; and now as the Minnesota Department of Public Safety commissioner.”

She prioritizes overseeing a $600 million budget, 2,100 employees and 14 divisions, including Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS), Minnesota State Patrol, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Dohman, who was named 2015 Alumna of the Year, credits Metropolitan State for stoking her career. Her university diploma, a self-designed degree in criminal justice administration, is on a wall plaque near the U.S. and Minnesota state flags that flank her desk. A nearby table showcases a photo of her and her husband’s three kids (now adults), and a surprising artifact.
“Mother Teresa is one of my role models,”Dohman says, nodding to a large silver peace symbol. “I never got to meet her, but she embodied peace and that’s what I pray and work for every day.”

She grew up poor in tiny Vesta in southwestern Minnesota. Instilled with a strong work ethic, Dohman and five siblings occasionally earned money by picking rocks, detasseling corn and other chores. Higher education was a moot point, as there wasn’t money to pay for college. Dohman also harbored serious doubt about whether she was college material.
But she took a chance and enrolled at Metropolitan State in 1989 while serving as a Maple Grove police officer. Dohman was drawn to the university’s prior learning credits, accommodating schedule and the ability to design her own academic program.

She applauds Metropolitan State for valuing people’s uniqueness and differences and regularly refers prospective students to the university. “I never felt like I paid money (for education) or that I wasn’t getting something in return,” she said. “In fact, I would have paid more, because the experience was that good.”

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A Minnesota leader you didn’t know is a Metropolitan State alum: Sandra Best

Minnesota Air National Guard Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Sandra L. Best

In February, alumna Air Force Col. Sandra L. Best became the first female general in Minnesota National Guard history when she was promoted to brigadier general. In her new position, Brig. Gen. Best will be the chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard, responsible for command supervision, oversight and leadership of the 133rd Airlift Wing and 148th Fighter Wing to include all items pertaining to manning, operations, readiness, training and equipping of units in the Minnesota Air National Guard.

Best graduated from Metropolitan State University in 1988 with a bachelor of arts  emphasizing human resource management. Her post-graduate education includes a master of business administration from the University of St. Thomas, as well as advanced education in leadership, public affairs and military operations. She is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College. She was a Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Originally from Northeast Minneapolis, Best joined the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard in 1984, as a personnel specialist and progressed through the enlisted ranks to technical sergeant. She was commissioned in 1991 through the Academy of Military Science at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee. Best has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008.

In 2015, she attended the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Leadership in Homeland Security Program. Her career includes both public sector and military service. She serves as the director of Strategic Relations and Mission Support Group commander with the Minnesota National Guard. She will continue to promote the benefits of lifelong learning and specifically the unique nontraditional environment geared for diverse working adults at Metropolitan State. Best and her husband of 27 years have four daughters and reside in rural Wisconsin. In her free time, she enjoys socializing with family and friends in the St. Croix River Valley.

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Raj Sethuraju given Ambassador Award from Saint Paul Foundation

A celebration honoring anti-racism activists in Minnesota recognized six people who are working to build communities where everyone feels safe, valued and respected.

Saint Paul Foundation awarded faculty member Dr. Nadarajan “Raj” Sethuraju the Ambassador Award  at the May 9 celebration. This award comes with $5,000 and it is designated for the Law Enforcement Opportunities (LEO) scholarship program.

Dr. Sethuraju believes his work and the education of his students at Metropolitan State University are intimately connected to the improvement, evolution and development of the criminal justice community. He attempts not to lead from the “Ivory Tower,” but in the trenches of the system; using his expertise and scholarly work to truly marry academia and practice. When asked what the award means for him and for Metro State, he explained,

“The award is given to those who have been identified as champions of racial equity work by dismantling the structures of institutional and systematic racism.  I am honored and humbled to be recognized in this cohort of champions and to come behind so many great minds and spirits who have been given this ambassador award in the past ten years.  The anti-racism and equity work cannot be done alone; I am glad that there are strong communities both on campus and in the greater community who support and champion this mission.

“Our campus’ commitment to address the trauma of racism and work towards realizing the vision of being an anti-racist campus have been both an inspiration and a vocation.  Our campus’ location and patrons deserve our commitment and hard work that is aimed at creating a safe and dynamic community, society and nation.  I am committed to continue this work everyday with or without these recognition because our humanity matters.”

Metropolitan State University students are balancing an array of obligations and the impact of financial support is great, sometimes the determining factor to reach graduation. This is where LEO can help.

Law Enforcement Opportunities (LEO) is a non-profit organization operated by a volunteer Board of Directors. LEO has a commitment to diversifying the law enforcement, criminal justice, and corrections professions, and this commitment has resulted in the development of a yearly scholarship opportunity. Their goal is to provide financial assistance in the form of scholarships to individuals interested in pursuing careers in law enforcement, criminal justice, or corrections. Eligible applicants may receive up to $1,000 in scholarship money to fund their education and training.

The LEO Organization host’s a career fair each year and proceeds are directed to the LEO Scholarship Program.  The LEO Career Fair is open to all and is an opportunity for those interested in exploring the law enforcement and corrections profession’s to network and gain information.  The LEO Scholarship Program provides eligible applicants the opportunity to compete for scholarship awards.  Past LEO Scholarship Recipient’s in-turn commit volunteer time at the LEO Career Fair; this supports their networking opportunities.



April 13: Law Enforcement Opportunities Career Fair

LEOlogo_medium-H.gifMetropolitan State hosts the Law Enforcement Opportunities 25th Annual Career Fair, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Wednesday, April 13, at the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center, Brooklyn Park. This event is free and open to the public.

The career fair provides an opportunity for attendees to meet representatives from law enforcement, criminal justice, corrections and higher education to learn about career and educational opportunities in these professions. Representatives from local, county, state and federal law enforcement, criminal justice, corrections agencies and higher education institutions recruit and provide information on job openings and educational requirements.

Law Enforcement Opportunities is dedicated to promoting and increasing cultural diversity in law enforcement, criminal justice and corrections; providing education to communities of color and women regarding career opportunities within these professions; and assisting law enforcement, criminal justice, educational organizations, and corrections agencies in the recruitment of these populations. For more information visit this link.

Feb. 18: Forum on Reformation and Restoration of Law Enforcement: The Role of Community and Social Movements

The Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Studies Department and the Center for Faculty Development present Reformation and Restoration of Law Enforcement: The Role of Community and Social Movements.

The event is 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 18 at the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center, room 112, 9110 Brooklyn Boulevard, Brooklyn Park.

Panelists include Jeff Martin, attorney and Saint Paul NAACP president, Michelle Gross, Communities United Against Police Brutality president, Alicia Lucio, community organizer, Neighborhood House and Pastor Brad Froslee of Calvary Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

This event is organized by Metropolitan State University’s Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Studies Department and cosponsored by the Center for Faculty Development, the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship and Student Services.

For more information, contact Dr. Raj Sethuraju.

View and share the event poster.

Nov. 11 Forum: The Criminalization of Immigration and Refugee Resettlement

“Despite the abundance of evidence that immigration is not linked to higher crime rates, and that immigrants are less likely to be criminals than the native-born, many U.S. policymakers succumb to their fears and prejudices about what they imagine immigrants to be. As a result, far too many immigration policies… are criminalizing an ever broadening swath of the immigrant population by applying a double standard when it comes to the consequences for criminal behavior.”
-American Immigration Council

Learn what’s driving these trends and the impact on local communities at “The Criminalization of Immigration and Refugee Resettlement: Implications for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.” The panel is 4–6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 11 in LECJEC room 112, Brooklyn Park.

The moderated panel discussion includes John C. Keller, executive director, Immigrant Law Center, Mai Neng Moua, attorney at law, and Rosario de la Torre, advocacy manager, Casa de Esperanza.

The Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship will coordinate car-pooling from the Saint Paul campus to Brooklyn Park and back. If you can provide or need a ride contact community.engagement@metrostate.edu. Continue reading Nov. 11 Forum: The Criminalization of Immigration and Refugee Resettlement

Community forum #3: Sex Crimes–Local and Global Implications

Students, staff and community members are invited to the third in a series of four community forums on critical issues in criminal justice and related disciplines.

“Sex Crimes: Local and Global Implications” takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 18 from 4–5:30 p.m. in Room 112 of the Law Enforcement Criminal Justice and Education Center, 9110 Brooklyn Boulevard, Brooklyn Park.  Continue reading Community forum #3: Sex Crimes–Local and Global Implications

Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice advising schedule change

The School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice is not holding advising hours at the Saint Paul Campus on Dec. 17, Dec. 23 or Dec. 31. Advising presence on the Saint Paul Campus resumes on Jan. 7 and continues Wednesday afternoons from 1–4 p.m. Appointments can be made through the SLC Advising Center at 763-657-3749; walk-ins are accepted pending advisor availability.