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Alumni Profile Fredrick Stevens

Fall/Winter 2014

When Tiffin Police Chief Fredrick Stevens enrolled at Tiffin University in 1995, he was a 26-year-old married father who worked the graveyard shift as a patrol officer. He realized that earning a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice would be the impetus to furthering his career, but he also knew that — combined with his other responsibilities — it would be a long haul.

The Army veteran utilized his G.I. Bill and “plugged along a little at a time” until he graduated in 2005. All that hard work began to pay off in 2000, when he was promoted to sergeant. In 2007, Stevens returned to TU, this time as a student in the online master’s degree program. That’s when things really began happening for him. In 2011, he was promoted to lieutenant. In May 2014 Stevens earned his Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. By August, he was named Tiffin’s Chief of Police.

For him, continuing his education has been a vital part of his career. “What I like most about Criminal Justice is that the field is constantly changing. It is and should be a requirement to continue your education in your profession, especially in Criminal Justice,” he explains. “New laws, new procedures and new requirements are constantly being thrust upon our field. To me, that means it never gets dull and you don’t get to be complacent if you want to excel.”

According to Stevens, there is an added sense of accomplishment in that both of his degrees came from TU, an institution that has one of the most highly respected criminal justice programs in the nation.

Stevens says his favorite memory at TU revolved around the class time. “I really enjoyed the interaction with the professors and the students. I didn’t have the normal college experience as I was an adult learner, but I still looked forward to the class experience and interacting with the other students and being engaged by the professors in all my classes,” he explains.

Even though Stevens has made exceptional strides in his career, he still considers his greatest accomplishment to be his 21-year marriage to his wife, Lisa, and helping to raise the couple’s five children: Andrew, Matthew, Allison, Amanda, and Adam. Andrew recently completed five years in the Air Force and is currently enrolled at Tiffin University to complete his degree in Criminal Justice.

“I am extremely proud of my children, that they all have become (or are about to become) productive members of society,” he says. “That was one rule that they all knew growing up. They had two choices when they graduated high school: join the military or go to college. No free rides.”

For those TU students who are preparing to graduate and soon enter the workforce, Stevens has some additional sound advice.

“Continue to educate yourself because it is not over just because you hang your degree on the wall. There are other classes you can take to continue to improve your knowledge. Jump into your profession with both feet, enjoy and manage your career,” he stresses. “There will be no one more important or interested in your career than yourself. Don’t leave the managing of it to someone else. By that I mean prepare early on for the promotions by getting the requirements — like any educational ones — while you have time. Don’t try to cram them in a few months before a major promotion. Show employers that you are prepared and organized and have an eye for the future and not just the here and now.”