When it came time to consider his future, Payton Vold felt something of a natural inclination toward a major in criminal justice. His uncle is a sheriff and his grandmother was a dispatcher, so it wasn’t a stretch for him to picture a future in law enforcement.
Growing up in a small town, the junior from Lamberton, Minn., appreciates the focus on application in the criminal justice major. From the classroom to the skills training, Vold says criminal justice majors have a chance to learn in-depth and hands-on.
“Classes like “critical issues in policing” give students a very realistic picture of the work and what to expect,” he says. “I want to play a role in making communities safer and the classes and training we receive are critical to working effectively and safely.”
Earning the law enforcement skills certificate took Vold to Alexandria, Minn., for ten weeks to learn both tactical and practical skills in law enforcement. The defensive/pursuit driving portion of the program, which Vold particularly enjoyed, was held at the St. Cloud Safety Center.
“Operating emergency vehicles and the opportunity for scenario-based training were important aspects of the training,” he says.
Spring semester will give Vold an opportunity to complete two ride-alongs with area law enforcement officers and a chance to experience the job first hand with those experienced in the field.
Working for security services on campus and a part time job with athletics department keep him busy outside the classroom. At games, he assists with running the clock or scoreboard, greeting referees and teams, or serving as ball boy—what he does depends on what season and where they need him. A three-sport high school athlete, the work in athletics is something Vold enjoys.
His career path is wide open once he graduates. “I will go anywhere opportunity takes me whether it is in Minnesota or across the country,” Vold says. “I am looking forward to serving in any capacity where I can make a difference.”