10Jul Hitting Home Runs as a Prosecutor, Officer, and Professor by Wendy Weichenthal Scientist. Prosecutor. Detective. Firearms instructor. Greg Perry brings a wealth of experience to his students as the Director of Criminal Justice and Law at Marion Technical College. This Cardington native says he is still trying to decide what he wants to be when he grows up, but one thing that is in his blood is a passion for teaching. His grandparents, parents, and sister were educators. “You teach one person how to figure things out, and you see that light bulb come on,” Greg said. Students in the Law Enforcement Academy and Criminal Justice Programs know that Greg isn’t just sharing theory. He has more than 20 years of real-world experience as a prosecutor and sheriff’s deputy. “Once you’re trained as a trial lawyer, you can’t stop those thinking patterns. How do you prove things?” Greg asked. “I’m visually oriented. I use a lot of photos and videos. With a jury, you have to take a group that may know nothing about something and explain it in a way they can understand.” Greg works hard to make sure his students understand the ins and outs of their profession, too. For the second year in a row, 100% of the Law Enforcement Academy passed the state licensing exam. “I have a huge emotional investment in my students in the academy. With more than 200 hours together, I really bond with them,” Greg shared. “It’s like the Oregon Trail [computer game]. I pick these students up, get them across all of these hazards, prepare them, drop them off, and then they go on and I go back and pick up the next class.” His connection to his students doesn’t stop at graduation. MTC graduate Kaitlin Meadows was sworn into the Marion County Sheriff’s Department in 2016. MTC graduate Montel Smith was sworn into the Marion Police Department by Mayor Scott Schertzer and Chief of Police Bill Collins in 2016. “It’s like a parent with a baby book – I ask them to tell me about their milestones. The first time they get hired, the first time they get to testify in court, I ask them to text me,” Greg continued. Greg is an experienced prosecutor, working in Warren, Morrow and Marion counties. He also served in the Ohio Attorney General’s office. In addition, he was a sheriff’s deputy in Morrow County and a supervisor at the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy in London. His undergraduate degree was in science, so he views evidence through that lens as well. Greg brought his wealth of experience to his students. “I loved hitting home runs as a prosecutor and a sheriff’s deputy – when I could connect the pieces of a crime,” Greg stated. “Now I am a coach who can teach my students how to hit home runs – how to connect the dots.” His varied experience benefits this students. “I like that this job allows me to use lessons I’ve learned in all of my various jobs,” Perry said. The results of his efforts are clear. “I feel great when a police chief or a sheriff calls me to say they hired a graduate and it worked out well and ask, ‘Do you have any more you can send me?’” Greg said. “I feel good when I get someone who wants to sign up for the law enforcement academy and they say a graduate sent them because they heard it was great.” The next Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy starts this fall. Registration has been extended to July 30.