The New York Police Department had a police cadet program where it would pay for the last two years of the college and in turn the participant was required to work for two years on the force. Kevin Kinley thought it would be a good exchange. He loved his job as a police officer, stayed in that role for eight years and was then promoted to sergeant.

(Photo Courtesy of Kevin Kinley)

(Photo Courtesy of Kevin Kinley)

He was sent to the narcotics division also known as the organized crime control bureau or the detective bureau. As a supervisor of a narcotics unit, he and his team worked to apprehend 60 individuals in an undercover operation within a six-month investigation.

Kinley was promoted and assigned as the special operations lieutenant. In that role, he oversaw the specialized units (anti-crime, grand larceny, school safety, burglary, narcotics and traffic) within his precinct. When he was promoted to lieutenant, he began to think about how he could give back to the community.

“I decided to go back to school as an older adult which was challenging because I was married with a family and was going to school with younger students. I had to get back into the groove of studying,” said Kinley.

“It was a little intimidating going back to school with younger students, but I took it as a positive challenge.” Kinley went on to graduate with a master’s degree from John Jay University of Criminal Justice.

After 20 years of working for the NYPD, Kinley relocated to Dallas to teach criminal justice.

“I am able to teach not just from the academic point of view but from practical experience,” said Kinley. He teaches criminal procedures (basic court system and its structure), criminology (theory based on how or why people commit crimes) and criminal justice (from arrest through corrections.)

“This is something you have to want to do for yourself. In this day, having an advanced degree helps you become more marketable. I tell my students that they shouldn’t stop at the bachelor’s degree – to always continue their education. Having a master’s degree will open up more opportunities for them,” said Kinley.

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at