Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ferris Honors Dr. Robert Parsons, Criminal Justice Professor Emeritus

PictureBIG RAPIDS – Dr. Robert L. Parsons’ name is synonymous with law enforcement education and training throughout the United States.

To honor the man who has dedicated his career to the education and training of police officers, Ferris State University Thursday announced it is naming the university’s firearms training range The Dr. Robert L. Parsons Law Enforcement Training Center.

“When people think about a university they think about education, but universities are also about people,” Ferris President David Eisler said. “Dr. Parsons’ impact on the Criminal Justice program and the law enforcement profession is still evident today. Ferris State University has the premier Criminal Justice program in the state and he is the linchpin that made this occur.”

Parsons, Ferris professor emeritus, founded the university’s Criminal Justice program in 1972. In addition to building a strong academic program from which more than 3,000 students have graduated, he also worked tirelessly to secure grant funding to strengthen the training opportunities for future and current police officers.

He is credited with securing more than $8 million for Ferris to use in offering training and weapons certification at the firearms training range for Michigan Police Corps cadets. Parsons also garnered more than $250,000 for the Central West Michigan Law Enforcement Training Consortium, which he began 15 years ago.

“When criminal justice professionals refer to the Ferris State University Law Enforcement Program, they often call it the premiere program in Michigan,” said Michelle Johnston, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, under which the Criminal Justice program is housed. “Dr. Parsons is the founder of the program and to him we owe our gratitude. Not only did he have a vision of excellence for developing professional law enforcement officers, he found a way to implement and sustain that vision.”

For the complete version of the story, visit the Ferris State University News Services Web site at http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/news/detail.cfm?ID=863

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