Jack Lachance (’19) knew he wanted to study criminal justice from a very young age. “I wanted a job where I would not be doing the same thing every day,” says Lachance. “As I got older, I realized not only could I have that in a job, but I realized I could also help people.”
Lachance’s passion for helping people is clear in just the first minutes of meeting him, and it’s why he views his career as a ministry. His heart for the criminal justice system stems from his childhood. “Growing up, there was law enforcement in and out of my house,” explains Lachance. “Seeing officers deal with these situations really impacted me because I saw how using personal and social skills could diffuse a situation.”
The way police officers impacted his own life inspired Lachance to become a police officer. “Christians should work in the criminal justice system because there is a lot of evil and unrest in this world. Having good Christian men and women show the love of Christ on a daily basis to these people can really make a difference,” Lachance says. By way of LBC’s basketball coach, Lachance discovered the college’s new criminal justice degree. He met with John Churchville, the director of the criminal justice program and caught his vision for advocacy, law and justice in the name of Christ. That’s when he knew LBC was the next right step in his journey.
“What struck me as distinctive about the criminal justice degree was all of the hands-on things we were going to do as a result of John Churchville’s contacts,” explained Lachance. “From the very beginning of the school year, we went to the Lancaster County prison, we talked to probation and parole officers and had k-9 units come in, we were able to speak with a detective and visit all different kinds of ministries.” Aside from the hands-on experience, another key aspect his student experience was meeting with Churchville on a weekly basis to talk life, career goals and more. “First, he would ask me how I was doing, if there was anything he could do or pray about for me,” says Lachance. “He would go on to ask me about my career and really invested in me.”
Churchville even connected Lachance to an internship at a police department after his first year of college. One highlight of the internship was riding with the police officers every day. He remembers being alongside officers dispatched to a domestic case. “There were kids in the house, physical disturbances and yelling. It was a very emotional and charged situation,” says Lachance. The officers protected the children and split up the fight, but from this experience, “It helped me solidify my career,” shares Lachance. “It struck me as something I want to do – being able to get kids out of situations like that.” Thanks to the specialized attention from Churchville and experience from the internship, Lachance is excited to pursue training from a police academy. This six-month program will test him physically, emotionally and mentally.
Lachance believes studying at LBC was essential before starting at the academy. “You need to make sure in this field not to lose yourself in all the evil that is in the world. Coming here, getting a biblical foundation and securing my faith was very important to me and will be very important to me moving forward in the field.
“Getting my degree at LBC gave me several years of experience, knowledge and resources that I could carry with me into the academy and better prepare me to be successful there,” he continued. “I would not be where I am today if it was not for the education I received here, the contacts I made, and the morals instilled in me and the confidence it has given me to perform to the best that I can.”