LEEP Award recipient is passionate about law enforcement
— By Jennifer Gomori, POJ Editor
Ryan Nicley was having a hard time deciding if he wanted to be a police officer or a teacher. He listened to advice to pursue the latter, but after a couple years in college he knew he made the wrong choice.
“Coming out of high school it was either teacher or police officer. I listened to some outside opinions and I let that influence me,” Nicley said. “I was headed towards education. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college I realized it’s not what I wanted to do.”
“The material didn’t interest me anymore. I wasn’t enjoying class,” Nicley said. “I had to ask myself where I see myself 10 to 15 years from now. I had to make the change to what I was passionate about, what I like to do. I’m very happy now.”
He hasn’t second guessed himself since, taking two unpaid internships one in Grand Blanc Township and the other in Shelby Township to get some experience; completing his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Oakland University (OU); and graduating Macomb Police Academy May 16, 2017. One of the internships was a requirement for graduation and after graduating OU, Nicely decided to seek an internship near his hometown. “I wanted some more experience and I wanted to see what goes on close to home, so I applied and got accepted to Shelby also,” he said.
When POLC/GELC Executive Committee member Brian McNair presented the $2,000 LEEP Award during the graduation ceremony, he was very appreciative.
“I was working up until I started the academy at a gym in Shelby Township. I saved up enough money to support myself through the academy and I had some support from my parents also,” Nicely said. “I ultimately did have to quit with the time commitment.”
“I wasn’t aware that it had doubled this year, but I think that’s terrific,” Nicley said of the LEEP Award. “Being able to apply the scholarship to further my training it’s not only going to help out now, but I’ll put aside money for equipment I will need once I am hired. Some of the departments do require that you buy your own equipment. I would rather be safe than sorry.”
Nicley was chosen for the award among other pre-service candidates in his a class of 41 based on his overall performance. “He was near the top in almost every category and he was extremely mature and carried himself very well,” said Macomb Police Academy Director Raymund Macksoud. “He was self-motivated. He didn’t have to be told things twice and performed all the tasks above average.”
Nicley, 23, graduated in the upper third of the class academically and has been interviewing for police work. “I think his greatest attribute is his maturity and his ability to complete tasks without having to be prodded,” Macksoud said. “He never had to be corrected for anything. His overall character is competent and strong – the type of person you’re going to reward.”
He’s been traveling around the state visiting different areas and applying for jobs. “I interviewed with Chesterfield during my time in the academy and I didn’t get the position, but I was able to learn a lot interviewing,” Nicley said. “My next step is applying for the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and Royal Oak Police.”
One thing Nicley knows for sure – he made the right career choice. “The team and the family atmosphere, it’s motivating for me knowing I have other people counting on me to do my best,” he said.