We are excited to highlight Professor Brian Dragoo this month as one of Union Institute & University’s outstanding faculty members and alumnus in the undergraduate Criminal Justice Management (CJM) program. Dragoo is a retired Police Captain from a Southern California police agency, having served his department for over 24 years. He holds a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University and an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice Management from Union. Professor Dragoo is an experienced educator and teaches Criminal Justice courses for Union Institute & University. In addition to his teaching duties, he also manages two satellite educational locations for Union. He has taught almost all of the core courses in the Criminal Justice Management degree and several electives.
How did you get involved in higher education?
As a police officer who promoted without a college degree to the rank of sergeant, I was always at a constant struggle to compete against other peers who had their degree. As I progressed in my career into police management, I always questioned how I could preach the importance of education when I had a large amount of college units, but no degree. After attending Union and obtaining my bachelor’s degree, the light bulb went off. I continued on to obtain my master’s degree with two goals in mind: to use this education to further my police career and to be able to go back and be an adjunct professor for Union. Both goals were achieved.
Why is Union an appealing option for busy law enforcement professionals?
Union was the only college designed for the working law enforcement officer who has an ever-changing schedule. Police officers, I find, tend to gravitate to classes they feel comfortable in and what better than having an instructor who walked in their shoes and understands the challenges that an officer goes through when returning to school later in life.
What does the value of “social responsibility” mean to you? How do you live out that value in your life—both here at Union and outside of Union?
Social responsibility to me is a compilation of traits you have as an individual. A law enforcement officer’s biggest trait is integrity and never wavering from that value. Being an example for others is a choice that some accept and some decline. I chose to accept it and use every talent I have and not flaunt them but to challenge those whom I teach to achieve what I have done and let me help them go further. Life is a competition at times and it’s very easy to forget that as you try to move up the ladder. What’s hard for some is being able to teach and encourage those who cross your path, even if they will advance further than your achievements. Being retired now I look forward to every class I teach to instruct those who want to be taught and push those who want to be pushed to the next level in life’s challenges.