Investigations Commander at the Gurnee Police Department
As the investigations commander for the Gurnee Police Department, Jason Kalinowski ’06 oversees detectives, school resource officers, and the Visited Oriented Policing Team. His division handles all major case investigations that include violent crimes, in-depth investigations, and financial crimes. For his dedication to his work, he was awarded the 40 Under 40 Award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Mr. Kalinowski, who majored in criminal justice at Carthage, continues to support the College by participating in panels and career development classes. “I feel it is important to give back to a place that gave me so much. I also feel it is important to see alumni come back and show a true appreciation for what Carthage has done for them.”
“I feel my time at Carthage truly created many of my opportunities. I was able to travel the Midwest for football, attend several different leadership trainings and conferences, and in my adult life, made many connections with other Carthage graduates.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I have really enjoyed the community policing aspect of my career. Several of my roles have put me in a position to lead many different community-related activities. I have the opportunity to lead and teach different topics to our community members.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“While at Carthage, I was a student-athlete, which helped prepare me for my career in policing. As a team captain for the football team, I had the opportunity to lead and work with people from all walks of life. Learning to manage that and schoolwork really did a lot in preparing me for my professional role.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“Sociology was a big part of the criminal justice major, and there were multiple classes that really helped open my eyes to the things that may be different from me. For example, while my goal was a career in law enforcement, I often found my self in classes that discussed the why — why people do the things they do, live where they live, and feel the way they feel. I learned to always look a little deeper when dealing with the public as a police officer and that has helped me serve with compassion.”
Why did you choose Carthage?
“While getting recruited to play football, I visited several different colleges. When I visited Carthage, there was just a different feel to everything about it. I was welcomed by the players and coaches I met, and I fell in love with the campus. Carthage also had a criminal justice major, which was important to me and sealed the deal.”
What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?
“Professor Rick Matthews was always great and did a really good job making sure I was on track to be successful in the criminal justice program.”
Were you an award recipient? If so, tell us about the awards you received and what they meant to you.
“I was recognized as an All-Conference Defensive Tackle three years. And I was selected to attend then NCAA Leadership Conference in 2005.”
What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?
“I live my life by these values. In my profession, truth, strength, and service are key components of a successful police officer and a successful leader. I am a servant at heart, and a lot of my joy comes from serving others.”