Alumni Service Award: Rick Smiedendorf
Rick Smiedendorf retired from his position as a police officer for the City of St. Joseph, Michigan in 2009 after 30 years. More than seven years later, he hasn’t left the profession, which he refers to as not just a job, but his vocation. He is currently the school/community resource officer for the Berrien Springs/Oronoko Township Police Department, where he is responsible for maintaining good relationships with the students in twelve school buildings, totaling 3,000 students and teachers, as well as various community groups.
Smiedendorf decided to become a police officer when he was in seventh grade. He attended Lake Michigan College, earning an Associate of Applied Science in criminal justice. He says, “Lake Michigan College offered me the opportunity to stay local, to stay affordable, and had the career choice that I was looking for.” He also earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Michigan University in 1979.
At LMC, he was a member of the Student Senate, and in 1977 he received a student service award for his work with the college administration.
College wasn’t the last time that Smiedendorf has been recognized for his work. In St. Joseph, he was twice named Officer of the Year, and, in 2008, Crime Prevention Practitioner of the Year. In 2014 he was awarded Outstanding Youth/School Officer of the Year by the Crime Prevention Association of Michigan. He serves on the boards of the Crime Prevention Association of Michigan and the LMC Alumni Association and is a member of the National Association of School Resource Officers.
TheAlumni Service Award was presented to Rick Smiedendorf in 2017.