Meet Kent State Alumnus and Euclid Police Officer Ben Wilcox: The Jack of all Trades

Ben Wilcox is one of many successful alumni from the Kent State University Geauga Campus. As a veteran, college graduate, aspiring business owner, firearms instructor and now a police officer, Wilcox has accumulated a vast portfolio.

Wilcox knew he wanted to become a police officer from an early age. He joined the Marine Corps as a military police officer when he was 18 to fund his schooling later and network with high-ranking law enforcement officials.

In 2016, Wilcox got out of the Marine Corps and pursued business management at Kent State Geauga Campus. He decided college was a good way to slow down and spend time investing in himself, pursuing his ultimate career, and setting himself up for success later in life.

"My experience at the Geauga Campus was awesome," Wilcox said. "The fact that it was a little regional campus made my life a lot easier. I made a lot of great friends, both faculty and students."

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Ben Wilcox at the Police Academy

Wilcox appreciated the small class sizes because they allowed him to get the help he needed and feel seen as a student.

"It wasn't easy," Wilcox said. "There were little things here and there that needed to get fixed, but Kent State faculty were always there to help."

To get involved on campus, Wilcox served as the Undergraduate Student Government President during his last two years of college.

"We did our first homecoming for the regional campus at Geauga, which was really cool," Wilcox said. "Being able to be a part of that, being there for the students, and working with the faculty was a great time. They are very good people."

Wilcox's experience with Kent State has provided him with the tools to start a business of his own.

"I wanted to own my own business one day, so I felt like the best way to do it was to go into a business major to be able to learn how to run a business and at some point in my life be able to open up my own," Wilcox said. "It was also kind of a safety net. Obviously, policing is a very dangerous job, especially today, so if something were to happen to me where I couldn't be a police officer anymore, I'd want to have that safety net to be able to continue a career later on."

With his business management degree, Wilcox plans to open his own firing range. He has previous experience working at a shooting range where he taught a learn-to-shoot class for nearly three years.

"I have a love for firearms, and I worked at a gun range for quite a while," Wilcox said. "I feel very strongly about concealed carry and people protecting themselves. I enjoy teaching people how to shoot, especially beginners and new shooters because it is a pretty nerve-wracking thing."

Wilcox knows a lot of other police officers with gun stores of their own. They have taught Wilcox about the ins and outs of running a firing range business.

 "Once I'm done with all my training, and I get a good basis in the department, I plan on opening up my own business rather soon to have something for when I retire," Wilcox said. "It's something that I want to hit the ground running as soon as I can."

After graduating from Kent State, Wilcox shifted his focus to applying to a police academy.

Wilcox considered enrolling in the Kent Police Academy but had to look elsewhere because the academy had closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Wilcox enrolled in the Cuyahoga Community College police academy, where he has been completing his training during the week and working at the Euclid Police Department on weekends.

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Ben Wilcox at his swearing-in ceremony

For others like himself, Wilcox promotes the military as a way to fast-track into college and a career in law enforcement. Through the military, Wilcox gained networking opportunities and experience in his field. The G.I. Bill helped to fund Wilcox's college education.

Wilcox is most proud of his recent swearing-in at the Euclid police department.

"Just being there, it's one of those things that I have waited for for so long," Wilcox said. "To actually be able to say that you've done it is a good feeling. I'm very antsy to go out on the road and just start doing what I'm supposed to."

For more information on Kent State Geauga's business management program, visit https://www.kent.edu/geauga/business-management.

POSTED: Monday, December 7, 2020 09:20 AM
UPDATED: Sunday, June 23, 2024 07:48 PM
WRITTEN BY:
Hannah Gooch