Emily (Mowry) Lanzer ’95, ’96M has been a police officer for the City of Worthington, a suburb of Columbus, for the last 19 years. She has been a detective for eight of those years, alternating between the Detective Bureau and the Patrol Bureau.
After graduating with her B.A. in Sociology-Criminology and M.A. in Sociology from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University, Lanzer worked at SEPTA Correctional Facility for a year as a case manager then moved to Columbus to pursue law enforcement.
Public Speaking is Part of the Job
While working in the Detective Bureau, she has done many public speaking events on crime prevention to various groups, such as the elderly, young children, business owners, and other high-risk groups and populations. She also regularly teaches classes for the Worthington Police Citizens Academy, and is a Field Training Officer who trains the new recruits coming out of the police academy.
While working patrol, Lanzer spends some of her downtime at the local elementary schools to greet students arriving at the beginning of the school day as a way to demonstrate that police are not just there “when you need them” and are more than just law enforcers who arrest people and write tickets.
Her favorite community outreach program is the “Hats for Heroes” program with the Fraternal Order of Police and the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team, which raises money and awareness for childhood cancer.
One of the many activities with this program involves several police officers and Blue Jackets teammates visiting Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus to spend time with children hospitalized with cancer and other long-term illnesses.
Many of the children are not local to Columbus and are unfamiliar with its local hockey team and would rather interact with the police than the players.
The two organizations also team up for fashion shows with team members and several “hero” cancer kids selected to participate.
The Advantage of a Sociology-Criminology Degree
“I can say that my degrees gave me all the essential skills I needed for this job! But more than that, my degree gave me the foundation and background to understand the how and why crime happens and how to go about fixing it,” Lanzer says.
She explains that law enforcement requires a great deal of specialized communication skills, observations skills, and technical report writing. By earning a degree in Sociology-Criminology, a college graduate going into law enforcement already has a wealth of knowledge of how and why crime happens, how to prevent crime, how people interact with one another and socio-economic factors that play a role in crime.
Having a degree in this field not only prepares one for a law enforcement career, it can also help one identify, track and prevent many types of crimes and behaviors. It also goes a long way to have knowledge in social relations and interactions by understanding other cultures, customs, and practices and how to use this information to further one’s objectives.
The field of law enforcement is highly competitive today, thanks to the many TV shows like “COPS,” “Law and Order” and “NCIS.”
Many departments are now looking to hire new officers who have college degrees, although the major itself is not a sticking point. Employers are seeking diverse applicants who can read and interpret data, write and type a good quality report with few punctual and grammatical errors and who are well-spoken and professional in their interactions.
By having a degree in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio University, students not only will gain these technical skills, they will gain the essentials and background that will help put them to the front of the line with employers.
Being able to read and/or speak another language is also a highly sought after skill.
Outside of Work
In her spare time, Lanzer enjoys spending time with her family and her three exotic Bengal cats, riding her Harley-Davidson and also cheering on her favorite NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers and of course the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team!