The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Police chief earns degree outside the norm

By Jill Bold/editor-in-chief

 

As a prerequisite, Haltom City police captain Cody Phillips chose to attend TCC Weekend College if he was to be given the job in 2016. Christian Garza/The Collegian

When city manager Keith Lane selected captain Cody Phillips as Haltom City police Chief in 2016, completing a bachelor’s degree was a condition of his hire. 

After seeing an advertisement for TCC Weekend College, Phillips reached out to its director David Pearse and Connect administrative assistant Sarah Matt to find out how to get started. 

It was a daunting challenge to go back to school at age 38, but they presented Phillips with a way to make it happen.

“I thought it was going to be overwhelming,” Phillips said. “They took all the nerves and wiped it away…they really eased some of the concerns I had.”

His job as police chief consumes more than 40 hours a week, so attending college had to be a carefully planned allotment of his time outside of raising three children with his wife, he said.

“Weekend College provided an opportunity to just attend that one day a week, and the professors took care of the learning during that time,” Phillips said.

Students can get through the program quickly while maintaining their full schedule of work and family responsibilities, said Pearse.

“For a student at the very beginning, we can get you graduated in 18 months or less,” he said.

This program’s student body allowed Phillips to engage with classmates from all backgrounds, said Matt.

“We have a very diverse group of students; some are older, younger, single parents, working full-time, first time in college,” she said. “We have a broad variety of students, and I believe that is what keeps our program successful.”

Phillips said this aspect of the program helped him gain better insight into his younger classmates and their mindsets.

“It’s allowed me to understand the new people coming into the workforce,” Phillips said.

While earning his bachelor’s degree fulfilled his job position’s requirement, he said he saw value in it outside of his career as an example to his children that education is important and attainable at any time.

“No matter what’s going on in your life – work, family, whatever – you can still dedicate time to go to school,” Phillips said. “Set a goal and achieve it.”

He said he has referred family members, friends and colleagues to enroll and meet their educational goals. It reignited an interest in learning that didn’t exist when he was younger.

“Once I went back, I actually enjoyed it,” Phillips said.

Haltom City police Chief Cody Phillips stands in front of the framed art created by his wife which hangs in the city’s police department halls.
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