To Protect and Serve Through Honor and Leadership
When Loren Sharp finished high school, he (like many others) was unsure of where his career path would take him. “I actually went to college out of high school to be a teacher,” said Sharp, but clarified that, at that point in his life, it would have been to coach and have summers off. Finally, halfway through college and noncommittal about teaching, a friend suggested he consider becoming a police officer. Sharp wasted no time. “I checked into it and six days later I started at the [police] academy.”
Sharp joined the Fort Morgan Colorado Police Department in 1994 and has held roles across the law enforcement spectrum—from school resource officer to lieutenant to Chief of Police. He always planned to complete his degree but put it off as he rose through the ranks at work and as his wife and children earned their degrees. Sharp was happy to pause his goals so his family could accomplish theirs, but when he was named commander of the Fort Morgan Police Department, he knew it was time.
“I knew I wanted to be Chief of Police someday, so it was time to take that leap, to maybe be a little bit selfish, and put myself through school.”
With a plan in place, Sharp set his sights on developing his leadership skills at CSU Global and enrolled in the Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Administration program.
“Most of the leadership training I had [before CSU Global] had been based on how to lead individual people, but as I went up in the ranks I became in charge of entire teams,” Sharp explained. “The leadership training I received at CSU Global was much more in line with my role in law enforcement management.”
One of the highlights that Sharp recalls from his CSU Global courses was interacting with such a diverse group of students through class discussion boards. “You had people that were ex-military who had military policing experience. You had people who were 19 or 20 years old and seemed a little naive. It was great because you got to see the perspective of that person. After several years on the job, you can get kind of jaded, and seeing those other perspectives brings you back to reality. It really grounded me and seeing everybody’s viewpoints was helpful.”
In addition to setting and achieving his goals of earning a bachelor’s degree and becoming Fort Morgan’s Chief of Police—in 2018 and 2020, respectively—he also graduated from the FBI National Academy, an intensive, three-month leadership program at FBI headquarters in Quantico, Va.
Sharp credits his experience at CSU Global with advancing his leadership and team-building skills. “During some of the exercises we did on team building, I experienced that ‘aha!’ moment. I knew how to bring people together as a team—which is one of the most valuable assets you can have as a chief,” concluded Sharp. “We all need to be on the same team moving forward together.”
Learn more about CSU Global’s criminal justice and law programs.