Amy Dehnert is a 20-year U.S. Army veteran who works for Portland Police Department.
She is also a master of management student at Chancellor University in the public safety program.
“I started a master’s degree back in the military but never finished,” she said. “When Dom [Apodaca] came to Portland PD, he told us about Chancellor and I thought to myself, ‘This is a great fit.’”
For Amy, that fit meant something that was both flexible to her work schedule and valuable to the advancement of her career.
“I wanted to better myself as an officer,” she said. “Making yourself marketable is key to seeking new positions or advancements. Not a high percentage of officers go for grad level education and I think it will make me more marketable.”
“We’re starting a new unit,” she added. “Having this education and background is already helping me in that process.”
The unit Amy is helping to develop is a groundbreaking new focus designed to help those with frequent police contact due to mental illness – something that is being implemented in cities across the country.
“We’re working on a lot of management level projects and pulling resources,” Amy said. “So far this education has been directly applicable as we go about it.”
But Chancellor University is helping in more ways than just Amy’s direct career goals, too.
“The program flexibility and balance with my work has been great. I have time to get things done when I need to get them done,” she said. “And the direct feedback and discussion forms really add to lessons too.”
Amy added, “Bryan McElyea, my professor in the leadership class, was really great at facilitating discussions. He made sure to give open-ended questions and helped us make connections.
Combining her work and education experiences, Amy now has more tools to achieve her future goals than she thought possible.
“I want to work up within the bureau,” Amy said. “My ultimate goal though, besides retirement, is to work with the Red Cross in emergency management response.”
Amy’s deep-rooted desire to reach out to others and provide help is a lifelong mission she believes is heavily inspired by her mother.
“I’ve always grown up with the influence to look outside of myself to see what I could do to help everyone else,” she said. “It’s been a passion of my mom’s even though she mostly did volunteer work. I just found a way to make a career of it.”