Photo by Alena Blakley.
By Chelsea Weeks, Assistant Features Editor
Thanks to movies and television shows, the job of a police officer is either glamorized or shown in a negative light.
Yet, in the real world they are regular humans trying to create a life for themselves. This can be seen by the officers here on campus.
Kent Borcherding is a police officer who has been on the police force at OBU since August.
Although he is new to OBU, he is seasoned in the field of criminal justice. Borcherding graduated with a bachelor’s degree from East Central University in 1988. Although he started as an accounting major, he changed to criminal justice.
“While attending East Central University I took my first criminal justice class as additional credit and because my roommate said it would be fun,” Borcherding said.
“By the end of the semester, I became very intrigued with law enforcement and took a second criminal justice class. By mid-semester, I was hooked, and knew I wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement and changed my major from accounting,” he said.
“I continued to enhance my education by taking additional classes and received my CLEET advanced certification and among other investigative courses attended the Criminal Investigation Academy. Today, I have over 1500 hours of continuing education in the field of law enforcement.”
While education is important, Borcherding said he believes that experience can help refine the skills you learn. Over the course of his life, he has worked countless cases in many different positions at several stations.
“I started my career as a police officer in the town of Meeker,” Borcherding said. “After a couple of years at Meeker, I applied and got the position as a police officer in Shawnee. At Shawnee, I had a very diverse career; I started out as a patrolman on midnight shift and over time, worked my way through different ranks and positions. I become an advanced accident investigator, a self-defense instructor, a SWAT team member, honor guard member and eventually was an instructor in eight different areas for the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training,” he said.
“I was promoted to detective, and a couple of years later I was promoted to being the supervisor over the Criminal Investigation Division. My division worked an average of 1,100 cases a year, many of which were violent felonies and consisted of rape, armed robbery, kidnapping and homicide. I accepted a position as the marshal in Norman,” he said.
“As a marshal, I authored the policy and procedure for that position as well as conducted training for other employee and revamped the procedures for locating people with outstanding warrants. During my tenure at Norman I was able to serve an average of 96 warrants a month,” he said.
Borcherding explained how he ended up on Bison Hill.
“As of today, I have over 8,000 arrests in the span of my career. In 2015, I left Norman and moved back to the Shawnee area with the intention of retiring from law enforcement. However, plans change, and after some discussion with chief Shannon at OBU, I am now serving with the OBU Police Department.”
Borcherding worked an average of 70 hours a week and would have to work on call and be ready when the job called.
“My family and kids were very supportive of my career,” Borcherding said.
Borcherding has been awarded many times throughout his career, not only for being a great police officer, but also for making some of the case processes easier.
“During my tenure at Shawnee, I was awarded many achievement awards and commendations; some of the highlights were two formal commendations, setting up the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) for Shawnee and also setting up the Leads on Line system for Shawnee,” Borcherding said.
“In 2008, I was also awarded the prestigious Metal of Valor award. Upon my retirement from Shawnee I was given the outstanding service award,” he said.
Borcherding said his long career has put him in a better place to advise others interested in the same field.
Chase Longshore, senior sociology major, is going through the application process right now because he wants to become a police officer. Longshore saw Borcherding at the RAWC one day and asked him for advice.
“I think what stood out to me more is just his willingness to share with me and give me advice. I’ve talked to a few police officers in the past and a couple of them have been nice but they [had] forgotten when they were in my position,” Longshore said.
“I really appreciated him taking the time to sit there and talk with me.”
After many years in the field, Borcherding knows many ‘tricks of the trade.’ He offers advice to interested students about information ranging from resumes, applications, law mentalities and financial advice.
“Just keep increasing your education; take one or two different paths,” he said.