UCC graduate pursues her passion in law enforcement. Now, she serves as a Sutherlin Police Officer.
ROSEBURG, Oregon – Ashley Alliman knows the Police Reserve Academy (PRA) at Umpqua Community College (UCC) can be a life changer. What started out as an interest in the dental field quickly changed Ashley’s mind when she learned about UCC’s Criminal Justice program.
“Right off, I knew this is what I want to do,” she said.
By getting a jump on prerequisites—prior to making the decision about criminal justice—Ashley was able to complete an associate degree in one academic year. Her commitment meant attending school full-time Monday through Friday, and attending the academy on Saturdays.
The Police Reserve Academy can change your life!
Applications for the 2020-21 class will be accepted until September.
“It worked because I had a supportive husband, and my kids were on campus at the Ford Childhood Enrichment Center during the week,” she said. “Even though I was at the PRA every Saturday for nine months, I knew I could accomplish my goal.”
By going through the academy, students can earn 25 credits (divided up over several terms). Those credits can be applied toward a Criminal Justice degree.
“For me, the academy was an incredible way to get hands-on, real-life training to go along with the reading material,” she said. “You’ll never get bored. There’s ample time to train for various threat-level situations, and do lots of physical conditioning as well as defensive tactics. We were taught by the best of the best! The instructors were incredibly helpful and pushed us hard to make sure we were successful.”
The PRA is also a great way to get a foot in the door by working closely with men and women employed in law enforcement.
“I worked diligently every week over the span of the nine months to prove how much I wanted this career,” Ashley said. “My efforts didn’t go unnoticed. I would not be where I am today without the reserve academy.”
All of her hard work paid off. While doing a fitness test one Saturday, Ashley met Sutherlin’s police chief. Her career fell into place not long after that meeting.
“I graduated from the academy in May 2016, got my degree in criminal justice that June, and was sworn in as a police officer with the Sutherlin Police Department a few weeks later,” she said.
Ashley says she has found her dream job. Her favorite part is being surrounded by good people. But she admits it’s also a very tough job. Not only have victims thanked her for being there, people who have lost loved ones have apologized to her saying they are sorry she had be there. Her response to them is genuine.
“I tell them ‘I was put here to be with your family at this time. This is where I’m supposed to be,’” she said.
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.
Brad O'Dell - Contact
Program Coordinator, Criminal Justice