Graduate Student by Day, Bryan Police Officer by Night, Bush Student Serves Local Community

December 17, 2015

  City of Bryan Police Officer Award winners

The Sons of the American Revolution and Sul Ross Masonic Lodge awarded Trainee Officer Daniel Broeckelmann (far right) with the Hero Award. *Photo courtesy of the City of Bryan Police Department

While many students at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University seek to balance their academic studies with outside responsibilities, Daniel Broeckelmann, a full-time police officer with the City of Bryan, is balancing his time on the police force with his time in graduate school.

“I was hired by the Bryan Police Department and accepted to the Bush School at the same time,” says Broeckelmann. “I’ve always wanted to help people; and I knew I wanted to go into federal law enforcement—something like the Drug Enforcement Administration or the FBI. I’ve always heard local officers make the best federal officers because they have a lot of time in the field. I knew I wanted to go to the Bush School, so I decided to stay local.”

Broeckelmann began working for the Bryan Police Department in February of this year and works full time while attending graduate school. He manages the workload in part by taking nine hours and coordinating his schedule with the police department. But balancing the two worlds is still a challenge.

“The police department has been really good about my schedule,” says Broeckelmann. “They work with me an awful lot. They gave me an evening shift—3 p.m. to 3 a.m.—and I’m able to do all my classes before that. During the time I was training, it was a little difficult because I would move around a little bit. There were a few weeks where I would work from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., have class at 9:30 a.m., and then have training again around 4 p.m. There were a couple of days where I went twenty-four hours nonstop. It’s tough, but you just have to prioritize your time.”

Broeckelmann and several of his fellow officers were recently recognized with a Hero Award by the Sons of the American Revolution and Sul Ross Masonic Lodge for saving a woman’s life. One evening while on duty, he and his field training officer, Scott Jones, were dispatched to a hotel after receiving a call about an attempted suicide. The two officers were able to rescue the woman and get her to paramedics while getting her child, who was also in the room, to safety.

“I have never seen anything so dramatic in my life,” says Broeckelmann. “At the time she went into the ambulance, I did not think she would make it. But several hours later, we were able to go to the hospital and interview her; and she was fine. She sustained no brain damage.”

While graduate school and police work are often worlds apart, Broeckelmann says he is able to bring what he learns on the job into the classroom and vice versa. Working within the Bryan Police Department requires a lot of team work and collaboration, something reinforced regularly at the Bush School through group projects and team-building workshops. Writing skills are also an important part of his job. He has been able to hone them while at work and through the Bush School. Above all, leadership is a vital part of both environments.

“Professor Olson’s leadership class, International Crisis Management, has taught me to be a better leader at work,” says Broeckelmann. “That’s had a big impact.”

After his time at the Bush School, Broeckelmann hopes to join one of the federal law enforcement agencies. He currently hopes to take classes in cyber security in addition to classes within his current academic concentration, homeland security. Combatting human trafficking is also an area he hopes to learn more about; and he plans to take classes, offered by the Bryan Police Department, on that topic.

“I think the human trafficking issue is something much overlooked,” says Broeckelmann. “I’d like to get more involved in this issue, especially up at the federal level. My goal is to be part of a task force that’s preventing sexual assault, prostitution rings, and other effects of human trafficking.”

Broeckelmann says he plans to stay with the Bryan Police Department during the entirety of his time at the Bush School. As for the required internship for Bush School students? He’s already got that covered. He will have well above the required 400 internship hours from his full-time job serving the citizens of Bryan as a police officer.

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