William Swanhart '03
William Swanhart ‘03 graduated from Kutztown University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. However, this wouldn’t be the last time he would graduate in his career—far from it. Nearly twenty years after donning his cap and gown at Kutztown University, Swanhart graduated from the FBI National Academy Session # 285.
Since his youth, Swanhart has been fascinated by law enforcement and criminal justice. His uncle, also a graduate of the FBI National Academy and former Lieutenant of the West Windsor Township Police Department, served as one of Swanhart’s earliest inspirations.
“I had a lot of exposure to police officers when I was a young child, and [that] led me to pursue a career in law enforcement.”
When considering post-secondary options, Swanhart seemed set on traveling to Florida to pursue his education. However, one fateful letter from Kutztown University opened his eyes to the countless opportunities available to him as a Golden Bear.
“I heard that they had a good criminal justice program,” he said, “so at that point, I had to apply to Kutztown.”
Swanhart has held numerous positions in law enforcement and criminal justice since obtaining his undergraduate degree. In April 2004, he joined the New Jersey Transit Police and enrolled in the Burlington Police Academy. Through these opportunities in his early career, he forged strong bonds with his coworkers and his classmates in the academy. He also gained experience working in urban areas such as Newark, Trenton, Jersey City, Atlantic City, Camden and Hoboken.
In December of 2006, Swanhart joined the Robbinsville police department, where he currently serves as a lieutenant. He started as a patrolman before going to the traffic unit to investigate serious and fatal motor vehicle crashes.
Swanhart was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit in October 2012, where he learned more about investigations, interrogations and other legal processes associated with law enforcement and criminal justice. He first held a position as a detective sergeant before eventually being promoted to lieutenant in July 2016. During his time with the detective bureau, he investigated numerous crimes such as mail fraud, robberies, burglaries, and possession of illegal substances, among many others.
Throughout Swanhart’s life and career, he encountered several individuals who were graduates of the FBI National Academy, including his uncle. Through these people, Swanhart became aware of the opportunities that might await him should he attend. Following the application process and all the training, Swanhart graduated from the FBI National Academy in March 2023.
The opportunities and training that I received from the National Academy allowed me to network with members of police agencies throughout the world. These experiences have provided me life-long connections and a different perspective about policing and the services we provide to our communities. My hope is to share my experiences at the National Academy to benefit not only my co-workers but the profession of policing as well.William Swanhart '03 on the impact of his training at the FBI National Academy
Swanhart has seen a lot throughout his career, and he firmly believes that none of this would have been possible without his early influences, the support of his family and his enriching experience at Kutztown University.
“I have nothing but accolades for the criminal justice program at Kutztown,” he said. “It laid a foundation that got me where I am today.”
By Pearson Uelses