LVC Criminal Justice Grad Talks About Growing Trend of Community Policing

Jordan Herr is a municipal police officer after earning a criminal justice degree from Lebanon Valley College

LVC criminal justice alumnus Jordan Herr ’12 sees his professional field, especially municipal policing, changing very quickly. It is shifting, he said, more toward community policing with the emphasis of building connections and positive relationships with residents in their towns.

Herr, a patrolman with Manheim Borough, said the department organizes a variety of community events throughout the year, including a benefit softball game to support the K9 program, Coffee with a Cop, and social media efforts that highlight a day in the life of an officer.

Another popular program with the community takes place during the winter holidays.

“At Christmas time, we do Shop with a Cop, which is where kids from low-income families get to go on a shopping spree with a police officer to buy presents for their family,” said Herr.

Herr first became active with emergency services while in high school, earning his Emergency Medical Technician certification at 16. He joined the fire department and volunteered throughout his years at LVC. 

“I thought I wanted to pursue something in the medical field due to my EMS background,” said Herr, who started as a biology major. “I learned through my time at LVC that it was the adrenaline rush that I was looking for, which made me change majors to criminal justice.”

As a student at LVC, Herr connected with faculty members and appreciated the personal attention he received. An internship with a local police department helped him decide on municipal policing for an area of concentration. 

Along with the influence from his criminal justice courses, Herr also credits the communication skills he honed. 

“Writing is a much larger part of law enforcement than you would think,” he said. “We are required to write extremely detailed reports because a year or two from now you might have to testify to what you wrote, so you need to be extremely thorough.”

Relationship-building, another skill Herr developed at LVC, he credits to his time as a peer mentor. “I enjoyed getting to talk to incoming students about their dreams and goals in college and then helping them achieve those goals. I still keep in contact with a few of the students I mentored. Some of them are even police officers in the same area,” he said.

As future students consider a career in criminal justice, Herr advises that networking, shadowing, and internships are important. “The criminal justice field is very broad with several different career paths that you can take. From policing to probation and parole, federal law enforcement, corrections, and so many more. It’s best to get out there and see which one is right for you,” he said.