Michael Paquette, a Criminal Justice Program coordinator and professor at MC, has had a long career in criminal justice that has allowed him to experience some once in a lifetime opportunities.
Paquette said, “In my career, I was a patrol officer, traffic officer, sergeant, captain, chief of police and Office of Emergency Management coordinator. I was the chief for 11 years, was on a SWAT team for 10 years and worked for the U.S. Department of Justice in their International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program by teaching police officers from other countries what constituted human rights violations.”
“I taught the International Police Monitors prior to their deployment to Haiti, and I was assigned to Somalia to train the Somali National Police. Once I retired from policing, I began my second career as a full-time college professor,” he said.
Paquette said working in Somalia was an honor and his team helped rebuild the Somali National Police Force. They worked through interpreters because of the language barriers.
He said, “To be called by the U.S. Department of Justice and asked if you would assist them is an unbelievable compliment.”
Paquette said Somalia was the hottest place he’s ever been to and it is very close to the equator so there is little dusk or dawn, it’s either day or night.
Paquette said he met former President Clinton while former President Clinton was still in office.
“President Clinton came to South Brunswick in the 1990s to speak about an education initiative. Our department was in charge of his security and assisting the motorcade. It was a once in a lifetime experience to meet a sitting President, especially when we met and he knew my name,” he said.
He said he is currently working with Dr. Chris Drew, who is a Homeland Security professor, to bring a Cyber Security Program to our college.
“The Cyber Security Program was a natural progression from our relatively new Homeland Security Program, which is in its fifth year at MC. The Homeland Security Program was developed by me with assistance of experts in the field. We have a partnership with NJCU in homeland security, so our students can continue with that school and receive their four-year degree. NJCU also has a nationally recognized Cyber Security Program, and we want to be part of it. This is the brainchild for Dr. Chris Drew with the help of Professor Patrici Payne and me,” Paquette said.
He said, “In our opinion, it is needed due to the technological advances in computers and the need to protect them. This would allow our graduates to work for varying levels of government, military, corporations and private security.”
“This program would have to go through an internal approval process at MC and then apply for state approval, which is a long-term process,” Paquette said.
Paquette said his professional goals are to continue to instruct at MC as long as he can make a difference.
“Follow your dreams and always be ready to assist others,” said Paquette.