What can you do with an NC State degree in criminology? Ask Lieutenant Brett Walsh of the Fuquay-Varina Police Department.
Walsh, who leads the department’s special operations division, is responsible for Fuquay-Varina’s canine unit, school resource officer program and investigations. “Our investigation section consists of anything from general crimes to drug crimes, financial crimes and personal crimes,” he says.
Walsh also helps teach the town’s citizen police academy, which aims to strengthen the relationship between the police department and the community.
“As officers, our job is to serve the community, and that’s why I moved into this town,” Walsh says. “We have a vested interest in making our community better.” The American Legion recognized Walsh for his community policing efforts in 2018, naming him the group’s National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
After growing up in New York, Walsh joined the Marine Corps and moved to North Carolina. When his service ended, he started looking at colleges and found a home at NC State. “I liked the atmosphere,” he says. “I liked the community.”
One of the largest lessons he learned was how to interact with people, a skill he uses every day in his work. “There are people from all walks of life that come to universities,” he says. “It gives you a broader perspective.”
Through his studies in the humanities and social sciences, he says he learned skills that can be applied to a range of jobs and industries.
“If you like working with children or elderly people, you can work in social services,” he says. “You can work in healthcare. You can work in law enforcement like me. You have so many options.”
“How I Think and Do” is a series created by NC State’s Humanities and Social Sciences that highlights our outstanding alumni.