Brian Joschko, Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police
You might say Brian Joschko M.A. ’17 went away to college and never left.
Bradley’s top cop found his calling — a career in public safety and law enforcement — while a student at Marquette University. His beat has always been a college campus.
“It’s an incredible opportunity, because you’re dealing with young people at a time when they’re ... figuring out who they are.”
Joschko, a native of Oak Forest, Ill., worked his way through Marquette with a part-time job driving the campus escort vans. He switched majors a couple of times and, even as a senior, wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. So he accepted a full-time job with the campus force and continued his studies part time, graduating in public safety and criminal law studies.
He moved up the ranks at Marquette and expected to stay there.
Then, in 2010, he learned that Bradley was conducting a national search for a police chief. He had connections here — his late father was Paul Joschko ’73 and his sister is Tricia Joschko Nichols ’03 — and his wife Theresa, whom he met at Marquette, had grown up in East Peoria.
“I always say if my mother-in-law had found out about the (Bradley) job and knew I didn’t apply, I wouldn’t have been allowed back in her house,” he joked.
Every day is different for Joschko and his team of 20 sworn officers and three support staff. Evenings and weekends, when most faculty and staff are home, are some of the force’s busiest times.
“We patrol campus and surrounding neighborhoods, because many of our students live off campus. We have more officers on duty overnight and on weekends than during the day.”
To best serve the campus community, staff development is crucial. “Beyond training on firearms and use of force, we’ve spent a lot of time training on how to respond — with a victim-centered approach — to a sexual assault. Another priority is Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for mental health crises. The vast majority of our officers are CIT trained. Our goal is to have 100%, and we should hit that within the next year.”
One of the department’s officers is certified in crime prevention through environmental design — reducing the potential for crimes by improving natural surveillance — trimming trees, installing appropriate lighting and making safety recommendations for individual buildings.
Joschko finds his job fulfilling. “It’s an incredible opportunity, because you’re dealing with young people at a time when they’re really exploring and figuring out who they are, how to live and become a responsible adult,” he said. “I think of my role as educational. Anything from how to not overload the washer and set off the fire alarm to the dangers of alcohol overconsumption.
“We conduct a lot of safety seminars with students. We want to make sure that when they leave Bradley, they are sensible and safe in all aspects of their life.
“It’s truly a 24/7 job. We get calls at all hours. I never know what my day is going to bring. That’s what I love about it.”