By Cadet Olivia Hime, Regimental Public Affairs NCO
The Citadel welcomed its first class of cadet community service officers in a ceremony in early March hosted by the college’s Department of Public Safety.
“This is a first in the history of the Citadel,” said Captain Shaun Ferguson, who developed and oversees the Public Safety internship program. “We’ve never had trainees who then become sworn officers, serving their community, while they’re still cadets.”
Friends, family and other guests gathered for the event at the Swain Boating Center on campus. The three cadets were sworn in alongside a college faculty member and two experienced officers recently hired by Public Safety.
“At this time, cadets will be working as community service officers, patrolling campus to identify any issues that compromise safety and security and assisting where necessary, with assistance from our senior officers, like myself,” said explained Ferguson.
The next step is to guide cadets as they earn their Class 3 Constable Certificationreaching a degree of authority that allows young officers to experience the responsibilities and rewarding nature of law enforcement, according to Ferguson.
“I hope this program helps the college produce the leaders law enforcement needs,” said Mike Turner, head of the Citadel’s Department of Public Safety and a member of the Citadel Class of 1986.” I worked with a lot of violent crimes early in my career in law enforcement and the ability to put an end to the families of victims was one of the most rewarding things I took away. with me. By working here at La Citadelle, I want to make a difference not only for the college but also for the cadets. Law enforcement is a constant process in which you will never stop learning and will always have room to improve.
Turner said the Public Safety team looks forward to working with officer cadets and expanding the college’s Officer Trainee Program.
Presentation of the new Citadel Community Service Officers
Cadet Brandon Birsner– Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Currently serving as the Romeo Co. Human Affairs Sergeant, Cadet Brandon Birsner is a junior majoring in political science. He plans to become a Class I officer after graduating in 2023. Birsner has helped fuel the Citadel PSAF internship program by fostering links with service-providing agencies. NARCAN training to help save the life of someone who has overdosed on opioids or other substances, as well as the local Polar Plunge fundraiser.
Cadet Imani Bowie – Augusta, Georgia
In addition to now being a sworn community service officer, Cadet Imani Bowie is a member of the South Carolina National Guard. He is the South Carolina Corps Cadet Squad Sergeant, Army Department Recruiting Sergeant. and a future representative of the court of honor. Bowing is majoring in intelligence and security studies and will graduate in 2023.
“I have learned a lot from this program so far and it has led me to consider pursuing a career in law enforcement after college,” Bowie said. “It also helped me gain self-confidence and opened my eyes to all the work involved in being a police officer. I developed a lot of respect for those who work in this field.
Cadet Chelsea Sitarik – Folly Beach, SSouth carolina
The eldest of Charlie Company, the youngest Chelsea Sitarik studies criminal justice and psychology. She plans to continue her studies and obtain a master’s degree in clinical psychology after graduation. Sitarik also pursues a career in law enforcement. She has dedicated much of her time to the internship program and the Public Safety team describes her as someone who will be a great asset to any law enforcement team in the future.
David Desplaces, Ph.D. – Citadel Faculty Member at Baker School of Business
Professor David Desplaces, Ph.D., has extensive emergency management experience as a member of the Lowcountry Incident Management Team, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Captain of the Carolina State Guard Provost Detachment South (Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit), among other positions. On the other side of his career, Deplaces is a professor of strategic management at the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business at the Citadel, with expertise in global business and commerce, cultural management, leadership, change management and entrepreneurship.
New Class I Officers
Private First Class Cameron McNeill
Private First Class Cameron McNeill has 11 years of law enforcement experience. Earlier in his career, he served in Dorchester and Collin counties as a Sheriff’s Deputy and in North Charleston as a full-time SWAT officer. For the past 12 years, McNeill has served as a member of the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. He conducted protective operations for US diplomats in Afghanistan for about five years and trained in the high-risk operations branch for the next seven years. Upon completion of the academy, he will become a full-time trainer for the Citadel’s Public Safety Department.
sergeant. Reagan Moore
Prior to joining the Citadel Public Safety Department, Sgt. Reagan Moore worked with Coastal Carolina University’s Department of Public Safety as an investigator. She has been a law enforcement professional for eight years, working for the City of Conway, the Green County Sheriff’s Office and the J. Reuben Long Correctional Center. Moore has extensive experience and holds degrees in criminal justice, criminology, online safety and education.