He put on his plastic badge and aviator sunglasses. “I want to be just like Officer Kellsie,” five-year-old Bryson Duckett said. For Halloween, Bryson chose to be Officer Kellsie Davis (’17), a Rogers State University alumna. He thinks she looks pretty and does a great job of protecting the community.
“I think he sees kindness and compassion and thinks that it’s cool to take bad guys off the streets. It’s endearing, and I’m honored to be his friend,” Davis said.
Bryson and his mother saw Davis on patrol one day. The little boy watched Davis from his window as she worked a case across the street. When her job was done, Davis said hello. Throughout the year, Bryson and his mother would see cop cars around town eager to see if it was his good friend, Officer Davis.
Davis graduated from RSU with a bachelor’s in justice administration and a minor in the collegiate officer program. She has been employed with the Sand Springs Police Department as a full-time patrol officer since September 2017.
“I grew up as the kid who wanted to be able to help others who grew up in some similar conditions that I did; they weren’t always pleasant. I wanted to make an impact on at least one other person a day and eventually, I could make an impact on an entire community,” Davis said.
In Bryson’s eyes, Davis is a hero, and heroes are just ordinary people influencing others.
“A hero is someone who does the right thing to help others no matter what consequences result. Anyone can be a hero because being a hero comes from the heart. It can take a small action of kindness to be someone’s hero that day, it doesn’t have to be a huge act to become someone else’s hero that day,” Davis said.
The Sand Springs Police Department has been a longtime partner for the criminal justice program and has hired three graduates in recent years.
“Ms. Davis was committed and never wavered from her goal of becoming a law enforcement officer. We are proud of Officer Davis and continue to receive such positive feedback about her since she became a Sand Springs Police Officer,” Associate Professor Dr. Diana Clayton said.
Although it’s been a tough year for the men and women in blue, police officers make the choice every day to suit up and serve.
“I didn’t come into this profession under the belief that I would be loved and adored and never run into scrutiny or hate. I believe that serving the community is more important now than ever and that those with true hearts and the passion for the job continue to come into work each day ready to face adversity head on,” Davis said.
Police officers must be honest and trustworthy, kind and compassionate. But above all, a police officer must have integrity.
“An officer must be trusted to do the right thing and make the right calls at all times. There are things that a person who wants to be an officer can learn, but the person must have a predisposition for them. I can teach a person how to talk on a radio or how to drive a police car, but I cannot teach a person how to do the right thing when no one is watching,” Davis said.
Professors at RSU prepare students for the challenges of being employed in a justice career field within the current societal climate.
“We believe our criminal justice degree programs are unique because of a balanced emphasis in both theory and practice as well as the foundations of law and the administration of justice. Our goal is for our graduates to demonstrate wisdom while acting ethically and responsibly as they exercise their significant authority as criminal justice professionals,” Clayton said.
Students in the criminal justice program gain strong foundations in both law enforcement and judiciary practice. Program specialization can certify students to work as police officers or prepare them to attend top graduate schools.
“It’s not easy and I don’t see this career field getting any easier any time soon, but for those with the right heart, it’s so beyond worth it,” Davis said.