Career off to a strong start for Barton Criminal Justice graduate

May 7, 2019

Law enforcement may be in Keaton Goering’s blood, but family history isn’t the only factor that influences his new career. Goering’s grandfather was in law enforcement for five decades and his father was a detective. However, his experiences at Barton Community College have kept him motivated.

The new Barton County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) patrol deputy successfully completed Barton’s Criminal Justice curriculum and is scheduled to attend the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center this summer.

Goering’s entry-level duties include investigating criminal offenses and traffic accidents.

“I have always had an interest in criminology and different investigative techniques,” Goering said. “I guess it is in my blood but Barton definitely has had a tremendous influence on me. All my teachers encouraged me.
“They are there to see students succeed. But it goes beyond that. The teachers want to better themselves, which helps all their students. They are there to make sure you learn. The whole school has great spirit.”

Goering, 21, was a Hilltop Singer at Barton and worked at Ellinwood Family Foods. He attended grade school in Great Bend and graduated from Ellinwood High School in 2015.

He plans to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees with a goal of becoming a forensic psychologist or criminal profiler.

“But for now, I am glad to patrol Barton County as a deputy,” Goering commented. “This is a career that allows growth. I want to learn as much as I can and grow as quickly as I can.”

Steve Billinger, BCSO patrol lieutenant, said Goering is a welcome addition to Barton County law enforcement.

“Keaton is very intelligent and has a pleasant personality,” Billinger said. “He treats people with respect and courtesy. He will definitely be welcome back to the sheriff’s office after his training at the law-enforcement center.

“I hope others follow in his path by enrolling in Barton’s Criminal Justice program,” the lieutenant added. “The need for young people is so great and applicants are so few.”   

Billinger also noted that he and about two dozen others serve on Barton’s Criminal Justice Advisory Board. Members represent area criminal justice agencies, offering support and oversight for Barton’s program.

“The board helps with special events and allows students to get a first-hand look into a law-enforcement career,” Billinger said. “It is important to have this relationship with the college.

“All agencies share experiences and help guide students who want to pursue employment after graduation. Students benefit by being exposed to officers who help them see the human side of the badge.”

Melissa Stevens, Criminal Justice instructor & coordinator, said Goering “represents Barton’s commitment to fulfilling our mission and serving the workforce needs of our community. He was an excellent student – always prepared for class and willing to learn.

“As he begins this first step of his professional law-enforcement career, we are Barton proud that Keaton has made this choice to use his education to protect and serve this community.”

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