NYPD detective Jackson Todd ’12 earns his college degree while maintaining his nearly 20-year-career on the force.
As a veteran detective with New York City’s Police Department (NYPD), Jackson Todd has spent his career making the streets of New York safer. After working for nearly 20 years with the NYPD, Jackson reached a new milestone in his life on May 20 − graduating from Manhattan College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management.
“I am years out of high school and I want to set an example for my children,” Jackson said. “My kids are young and I want them to know that college is a continuation and high school is not the end of their education.”
Prior to joining the Police Academy in 1993, Jackson was in the Marine Corps for six years after high school. He planned to attend college after being honorably discharged from the Marines but instead decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. He has worked in various commands within the NYPD, and with the financial crimes task force for the last seven years.
I am years out of high school and I want to set an example for my children. My kids are young and I want them to know that college is a continuation and high school is not the end of their education.
In 2008, he was ready to finish his degree and went to a few college fairs to try and determine the right program for him. With online classes not appealing to Jackson, Manhattan College’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) seemed to be the best and most affordable option. The SCPS program accommodated his busy work schedule and offered him a personalized learning environment in the classroom.
“For years, I was always apprehensive about returning back to school. When I first started, there was a fear of not being able to do the work and not knowing how to be a college student,” Jackson added. “I went to the orientation and I met Suzanne Murphy [recruitment coordinator and adjunct instructor in SCPS] and she calmed my nerves and gave me the confidence I needed to pursue this next phase in my life.”
Jackson said at that particular moment he felt like an 18-year-old fresh out of high school, unsure about his ability to complete the courses. However, thanks to Murphy’s reassurance and stories of adult students who completed the program, he forged ahead.
“Jackson did the work asked of him, and so much more, and he would often become a catalyst, leading the rest of his cohort in the discussion of the moment,” Murphy said. “For example, Jackson was an arbitrator in an arbitration course. He was knowledgeable, fair and firm, one of the best I have seen.”
Post-graduation, Jackson plans to continue growing his current position with the NYPD and may choose a different sector when he retires. He also has thought about pursuing a master’s degree and teaching a law class.
“It’s definitely given me a confidence in myself knowing that I could enter the college environment at my age and accomplish what I set out to accomplish,” Jackson said.