Criminal Justice Alumnus Joseph Kozarian is the Chief of School Police for Fox Chapel Area School District Alumni Profile
Meet Joseph Kozarian '15 '22
- Job Title & Employer
- Chief of school police, school safety and security coordinator, Fox Chapel Area School District
- Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Administration-M.S.
- Duquesne, Pa.; Duquesne High School
- Now Living In
- Baldwin, Pa.
- Hobbies & Interests
- Spending time with my family, especially my grandchildren, and fishing
"I think what sets a degree from Point Park apart from other universities is that the professors have decades of practical experience in criminal justice fields. Additionally, Point Park offers smaller class sizes, and professors truly get to know each student. The professors are available after hours and genuinely care about their students."
What does your role at Fox Chapel entail, and what do you like about it?
At Fox Chapel Area School District, I am in charge of seven police officers and one safety officer. I oversee the safety and security of the district’s nearly 4,200 students and nearly 600 staff members. I also oversee the entire emergency operations and security procedures for the district. I have worked hard to develop relationships with the students and staff, and I also serve as the district’s liaison with the local municipal police officers and other first responders.
You were recently elected treasurer of the National Association of School Resource Officers. What does this achievement mean to you?
It is truly an honor to be a part of NASRO, a nonprofit organization that is the greatest community-oriented policing program in the country. I am honored to be a part of the conversation and to be a part of the decision-making pertaining to school safety on the national level. I hope to serve as a liaison to all the school resource officers across the country. I hope that my 20 years of experience working with school districts can help me to make a contribution and a difference. I would also like to thank the Fox Chapel Area School District administration and school board for allowing me to share my expertise with others, as I look forward to truly making a difference for students from across the United States and world.
How did Point Park's faculty positively impact you?
I think what sets a degree from Point Park apart from other universities is that the professors have decades of practical experience in criminal justice fields. Additionally, Point Park offers smaller class sizes, and professors truly get to know each student. The professors are available after hours and genuinely care about their students. Professor Richard Linzer, J.D., had a significant impact on me and encouraged me throughout my educational journey.
In what ways do you incorporate what you've learned at Point Park into your role as a school resource officer?
Point Park has given me the knowledge to help the students at Fox Chapel Area School District to become productive citizens of this country. I learned to think outside the box in order to keep students out of the juvenile justice system through mentoring. I find that I incorporate the lessons I learned at Point Park into my job every day.
Why would you recommend Point Park to a student interested in a criminal justice career?
The flexibility of classes is the biggest reason why I would recommend Point Park. As an older adult, obtaining a degree when you have a full-time job and family can be incredibly difficult. Point Park made this much easier for me because of the online and in-person course options and the support of the faculty members. Additionally, I have been incredibly impressed with the professors and the real-world experience that they offer. It makes a huge difference to be taught by those who are actually in the field.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The most important advice I can give to anyone pursuing a degree in criminal justice is to always remember that the job is truly about forming relationships with those you work with and helping people who truly need your assistance. As an school resource officer, I know that forming positive relationships with students is the number one deterrent of crime. All of my officers work hard to form these positive relationships that lead to that trust. There is no better feeling when students have trust in you to keep them safe and secure.
I am the youngest and only child out of six in my family who pursued a college degree. I believe education is necessary. It gives you a solid foundation, and I think it really is true that knowledge is power, and it opens doors to many future opportunities. Older adults should not be afraid to pursue a higher degree. No matter how old you are, you will feel good about yourself. As a parent, you lead by example, and I feel good knowing that my adult children and grandchildren see me putting in the hard work to further my education.