Criminal Justice and Social Work Programs Gave Officer Brendon Noll A First-Hand View of What to Expect
Aside from his promotion to patrol sergeant at the City of Lower Burrell Police Department, Brendon Noll’s proudest accomplishments stem not just from what he can do, but from what he can do to help others. In a solemn, almost reverent tone, Brendon recalls a situation he dealt with while he was on patrol that involved a domestic abuse victim. He remembers the exact date, and just how long it took to get everyone to safety: only 12 minutes and 30 seconds since he received the 9-1-1 call, despite the perpetrator shooting at him and his dispatch on the scene. No one was injured in the incident.
"The crime scene house gave you a first-hand view of what to expect for blood spatter, looking for evidence, how to triangulate a crime scene, how to properly document a crime scene."
Brendon’s journey to becoming a patrol sergeant started at Seton Hill, where he graduated with a criminal justice degree in 2010. While at the university, he worked as a police dispatcher at the City of Greensburg Police Department, which helped him gain experience in the field.
The crime scene house, a full-sized ranch-style house located on campus, also played a big role in preparing Brendon for his future career. “The crime scene house gave you a first-hand view of what to expect for blood spatter, looking for evidence, how to triangulate a crime scene, how to properly document a crime scene…I’ve had the training elsewhere being on the job now, but in that realm I had a foot up because I had a general idea and a good knowledge base.”
While Brendon does deal with crime, he also emphasizes how much of his job involves social work as well. “Your job as a police officer isn’t just to enforce laws,” he says. “Your job is to talk with people and to help them come up with solutions for their problems in a very rapid time frame.” Brendon says that taking social work classes at Seton Hill helped him learn how to talk with people and deal with tough situations.
“The Criminal Justice Program helps you as a police officer because it gives you a greater understanding of the workings of the criminal justice field from different areas,” Brendon says. “The foundation you get at Seton Hill definitely prepares you to go out and be knowledgeable.”
Photo above: Brendon, left, with his brother, Devon Koontz. Brendon and Devon have another brother, Trevor, who is also a police officer (and a Seton Hill grad!)