Dave Dammon is a busy man. He is a Sergeant with the Belvidere Police Department (BPD) and supervises the Gang Intervention Unit. He is completing a Master’s degree through Western Illinois University in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration and anticipates graduating in May 2017 and maintaining his perfect 4.0 GPA. He has a family, including a new baby. He also is a full-time faculty member at Kishwaukee College, leading in the Criminal Justice Program.
Dave joined the full-time faculty at Kishwaukee College in 2010. He was a Detective in Felony Investigations with BPD then. “I am a Lead Homicide Certified police officer and I have authored more search warrants in Northern Illinois than anyone I know of,” he said. “I have been fortunate to be able to travel all over the country for classes and seminars as well as being a guest speaker and lecturer. My area of expertise is Gangs and Drugs.” He was promoted to the position of Sergeant over the Patrol Division in 2015.
Bringing his experience and expertise into a Kish classroom with future law enforcement professionals only made sense, though it required a bit of time management. “I have had at least two jobs my entire adult life,” he explained. “I am a bit of a workaholic. I figure if Steve Jobs could run Apple and Pixar at the same time, I can handle it.”
Being an instructor has benefits that Dave never expected. He stepped up to coach Crime Scene Investigation teams of students to represent Kishwaukee College in the state SkillsUSA competition and the teams qualified for the National Competition for three consecutive years. He said, “Changing students’ lives is the best part of teaching. I am now beginning to see previous students making a difference in their career fields. This is such an incredible feeling. I have three Kishwaukee College Criminal Justice students that now work at the Belvidere Police Department! It is just incredible.”
Dave brought an emphasis on community involvement to his classroom. “I always say "solutions through actions, not mere words.” One of the skills that is difficult for new officers to develop is community policing,” Dave explained. “I am a firm believer that you will get back tenfold what you give to the community. Working with and helping children succeed is the key to combatting crime and gang problems. Part of my program is understanding how law enforcement professionals and the community need to work together to accomplish goals.”
In 2012, Kishwaukee College remodeled lab space on campus and Dave finally had a forensics lab and CSI space instead of setting up and then breaking down mock-crime scenes on a daily basis for students to practice their scientific investigative skills. Dave plans to keep moving forward with the state-of-the-art aspect of the Criminal Justice Program. “We currently offer labs and hands-on sessions that no other community college in the state offers. I feel we have one of the best programs out there” he said. “But I want to keep on increasing our use of technology for policing and in the forensics lab.”
Even though juggling all the hats he wears requires excellent organization and management, Dave Dammon wouldn’t have it any other way. “I love my students and Kish College. It was more than just luck that I ended up here - I have been given a great opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with students and the community,” he said. “I have been very blessed with being able to be here in the capacity I am and I believe the program will keep getting better and better. I know I will work hard to do my part to keep up the forward momentum.”
For more information on the Criminal Justice Program at Kishwaukee College, contact Dave Dammon at 815-825-9538 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.