Joe Herrera made a career choice at an early age to become a police officer, he attended the police academy at Navarro College and became a reserve police officer for the Ennis Police Department. He also worked as a public service officer in the security division for Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

(Photo Courtesy of Joe Herrera)

(Photo Courtesy of Joe Herrera)

He proved his dedication and loyalty as a police officer, which helped him develop important skills when he was offered a patrol officer position with the Waxahachie Police Department. He decided to pursue his bachelor’s degree and earned one in business administration at Northwood University. Over time, Herrera continued to learn and moved up the ranks – first, in the S.W.A.T. division, and then, as a field-training officer, and later as a detective in the criminal investigation division.

“As an officer, I wanted to explore the education side of it. I believe having a master’s degree in your passion will help open up career paths. Your experience coupled with the proper education is key. I am still a student of my trade,” said Herrera who is currently enrolled at Texas Christian University pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice and criminology.

Herrera is also currently teaching criminal justice at Waxahachie High School. “This is an elective class that students want to take. People see law enforcement on television, and they want to know more,” said Herrera, who teaches 130 students the three branches of criminal justice: law enforcement, courts, and corrections.

“When one is ready to go from the practitioner side to the education side, the advanced education is key,” said Herrera.

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 Examiner.com