URBANA – The University of Illinois Police Department is congratulating its newest officer, Alex Tran, on his graduation Thursday from the Basic Law Enforcement class at the University of Illinois Police Training Institute.
The intensive 12-week class is one of the first required steps to being a police officer in the state of Illinois, introducing new officers to various state laws, investigative techniques, physical skills, community policing and current issues in law enforcement.
“We’re thrilled to have Officer Tran on board,” said U. of I. Police Chief Jeff Christensen. “As an Illinois graduate, he is already a part of our campus community and understands the dynamics of public safety issues here. His investment in our community and his commitment to service has been evident throughout his training and his service as a Student Patrol Officer.”
Tran graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in December 2016 with a degree in history. Since 2014, he has been a volunteer firefighter with the Edge-Scott Fire Protection District in Urbana.
During his undergraduate years at Illinois, he worked as a Student Patrol Officer providing SafeWalks escorts to his peers at night, as well as other safety services like security patrols and traffic control at special events. In 2016, he was selected as the Division of Public Safety’s Student Patrol Officer of the Year.
"As cliche as it sounds, I wanted to make a difference and I wanted to help other people. I wanted to help those who couldn't help themselves," Tran said. "Being able to tell someone 'Hey, it's going to be okay,' or reassure a person I come in contact with that the world hasn't ended. Or even say to another police officer, 'I got your six,' you feel like you did something worthwhile and for the right reasons."
Tran will now enter the field training phase at UIPD.