As Nolan Allen lined up on Saturday, May 11, to march into Tozier Gymnasium with his fellow graduates and join the ranks of Unity College alum, he had one key question that had already been answered: “What’s next?”

Allen, who is originally from Wakefield, Mass., had already received and accepted a conditional offer from the Fairfield Police Department, and on May 13, was sworn in as an officer.

“I know I’m lucky that right out of school, practically before I graduated, I already had a full-time job set up and ready to go,” said Officer Allen. “So I appreciate that.”

“Officer Allen has been well-received by the department members and in his short tenure here, we are already receiving positive feedback from our community,” said Fairfield Police Chief Thomas Gould. “It is obvious that his education has prepared him to begin his future in law enforcement.”

Coming out of high school, Allen didn’t actually see himself going into law enforcement. He began his college career at North Shore Community College intent on studying Marine Biology, even spending several hours working at the local aquarium to prepare for his studies. It turned out, however, that while Allen enjoyed the outdoors and studying marine life forms, he wasn’t exactly keen on the lab work.

He did, however, re-discover his passion for law enforcement after taking a criminal justice course, setting his career on a new course. From North Shore Community College, he transferred to Unity College to study Conservation Law Enforcement, seeing how the College incorporated the environment into its robust law enforcement program.

“Our expert faculty represent a wide breadth of expertise across the discipline and they bring that knowledge to the program design, into their classrooms, and with them in the field to develop relationships with law enforcement professionals,” said Dr. Erika Latty, Chief Academic Officer at Unity College. “Due to our well-connected faculty and robust internship program, Conservation Law Enforcement students make connections with professionals in the field during their first year of study, and then build upon these interactions throughout their time at Unity College”

He credits courses like Interpersonal Relations and Community Relations and Ethics with preparing him to be a police officer. “In Interpersonal Relations, you learn how to deal with angry people, and Community Relations and Ethics talks a lot about being with the community and helping them, and having them help you.” The Fairfield Police Department was impressed that Officer Allen had this knowledge and information prior to being interviewed for the job.

“It always gives me great pleasure to see our graduates succeed as they enter the next phase of their lives,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “I’m proud of Officer Nolan Allen for earning this opportunity to join the Fairfield Police Department, and I wish him well in his new role.”

There are many aspects of his new job that Officer Allen is excited about, but the part that he’s most looking forward to? “I like helping people, getting to know people, being there for the community, and also being that person who is responding to emergencies and helping when I’m needed,” Officer Allen said.