Student Spotlight

New police supervisor has advice for job seekers: don’t give up

January 08, 2016 by Margo Myers
Brandman University grad and former Navy chief, Leslie Morgan

Leslie Morgan

Two months into her job with the Oak Harbor Police Department, Leslie Morgan wants to hit the ground running. “The first month has been crazy with training, classes, and travel,” said Morgan, adding she’s ready to really devote herself to her new role.

The department hired Morgan as the new Evidence and Records supervisor, a job that requires attention to detail, managing a team of three, and providing public service. She’s in charge of all records and evidence that come into the department, logging items for court cases, fulfilling public requests, and complying with all federal, state, and local regulations.

“I am excited to take on this new position and use my college degrees and experience in a new way,” she said. But the retired Navy chief explains it wasn’t an easy road to reach this point.

Morgan served 23 years in the U.S. Navy, working as a construction mechanic, which is the Navy’s combat engineers, and as a convoy commander, military police officer and a corrections officer. She traveled from the U.S. to Scotland, Kosovo, the Philippines and a few places in between. And then it was time to retire to care for her ailing mother.

Morgan went back to school, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with Chapman University. She then went on to obtain her master’s in organizational leadership (M.A.O.L.) from Brandman University’s campus at Whidbey Island in Washington.

Morgan took a job with the Department of Defense in Human Resources. For three long years, she applied for other positions within the DOD in hopes of using her organizational leadership degree. She filled out application after application with no luck. “I knew I needed to adjust what I was doing since I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, so I changed course,” said Morgan.

Morgan applied for positions outside of the Department of Defense, including for Evidence and Records supervisor at the Oak Harbor Police Department. Out of nearly 50 people who sent in resumes, she made it to the top ten, then the final three. A second and final panel interview came next. “I thought I did terrible,”

Morgan said “I was nervous. It was totally different from what I was used to. I always seemed to finish number two, always the bridesmaid but never the bride.” So when she received an email from the police department asking her to call, Morgan says she was stunned when they offered the position.

“I actually didn’t really hear when they offered me the job I was so ready to hear ‘thanks for applying but we’ve offered the position to someone else.’” The job was hers.

Now, after a busy few months of psychological evaluations, polygraphs, background checks, and academy training, Morgan is ready to step into a dream job. Her story is one of perseverance, and she encourages other job seekers to never give up. “I am super happy and humbled to have this role,” said Morgan. “You just can’t give up. It took me three years to find the right job. I want to use my experience and university degrees to serve the public and make a difference.”

This story first appeared on the Northwest Navy Life website.

Related stories:

  • Police chief emphasizes growing role of higher education in law enforcement
  • NCO Academy leaders join forces to master M.A.O.L. degree
  • From military service to a career helping others

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