Eric Fournier

M.S., Criminology and Criminal Justice, 2022
Merrimack College Police Academy
Patrol Officer, Weston Police Department

Earning His Master’s Degree Helped Land His Incredible Post-Graduate Position

Eric Fournier is a Double Warrior who graduated with his Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Merrimack College in 2022, and currently works as a patrol officer for the Weston Police Department. While excelling in his graduate courses, Eric was simultaneously enrolled in the first ever class of the Merrimack College Police Academy, which he claims was a large part in his decision to attend Merrimack for his master’s degree. He explains, “choosing Merrimack College for my master’s degree in Criminal Justice, it was primarily because of the faculty I already knew from my bachelor’s degree and definitely because of the police academy, as well.” Eric recalls that it “really sealed the deal when I found out that the police academy was coming here and I would be part of the very first class. […] I’m very happy that I made the decision to stay here.”

“One of my favorite aspects of the program was that some of my teachers were former police officers or current police officers, so they brought their knowledge from their time and experience with their job to the classroom and they integrated that.”

For Eric, the Merrimack College Police Academy was essential in expanding his career possibilities and landing him his job at the Weston Police Department. He explains that the “Weston Police Department requires an associate’s degree minimum to even be considered for the job, and when I interviewed with them, they saw that I was in the master’s program and in the Police Academy. What intrigued them the most was the kind of program I was going through at the police academy. The fact that I was going through a full time police academy during the day and doing my master’s classes at night really stood out to them.” He adds that his future employers “thought it was very interesting that there is a program like this, the first of its kind, and they heard nothing but good word about the academy when it came to the instructors, the faculty who taught it, and how I explained to them how my day-to-day life is. I could see that the were very interested in it and they could see the potential, that ‘this kid is a hard worker.’” Eric’s employer was not the only police department impressed by the training and preparation student officers experienced in the Merrimack College Police Academy; his entire class had a 100% hiring rate following graduation.

When speaking about his experience in Merrimack’s police academy, Eric fondly remembers his first day in the program:

“At the end of the day I just had the biggest smile on my face because I knew exactly this is what I wanted to do. It was going to be hard, but I knew that if I pushed through it to the end that it was going to be very rewarding, and it was!”
Additionally, Eric was able to form valuable relationships with his staff instructors in the program. He remarks that “right now, after graduating, I’m still in communication with my staff instructors, who were there from day one all the way to the end, because I see them as my mentors.”

The Criminology and Criminal Justice master’s program also helped enhance Eric’s education. He states, “CCJ and the Merrimack College Police Academy, when I was in it, were very integrated with one another. The classes were intertwined with the academy training and the classes I was taking at night and the training during the day really helped me when it came to real life 911 calls or going to emergencies in general, and it really prepared me how to think, how to comprehend difficult situations and understanding what I have to work with to find a resolution.” Eric further explains that “the CCJ program required me to do a lot of thinking and a lot of outside the box understanding of the material, and that’s what it is like in the real world. Not everything is black and white; you’ve got to be creative, and the CCJ program and the Academy helped me do that.” Eric’s preparedness stems from the fact that the faculty in the Criminology and Criminal Justice program and the Merrimack College Police Academy are experts in their fields. He mentions that “one of my favorite aspects of the program was that some of my teachers were former police officers or current police officers, so they brought their knowledge from their time and experience with their job to the classroom and they integrated that.”

Eric’s advice to future student officers

Eric has some words of wisdom for student officers looking to enroll in our unique police academy program:

“Advice I would give to a student officer would be to really give it 100% because if this is what you know you want to do, then you really need to strive and push through the obstacles. It might be hard, but I guarantee it will be rewarding in the end.”
He adds that,
“this [program] should really catch their interest because there’s nothing like this. Merrimack College is lucky enough to have this kind of program and I was lucky enough to be part of that. I just wish people would see how much of a rare opportunity this is and I want people to really take advantage of it.”