Man in front of a flag

While he was working his way toward a degree in criminology, Isaac Altenburger worked and studied at three campuses of The Ohio State University – Lima, Marion and Columbus. Since graduating in 2017, he has been excelling as a police officer in central Ohio, impressing his supervisors with his maturity, discipline, commitment to lifelong learning, and ability to work with the community. 

Isaac’s first supervisor at Ohio State, Sgt. Tony Swygart (retired) is not surprised.

“During his time at Lima, we caught glimpses of Isaac’s great potential in the many examples of leadership, involvement, great attitude and intellect,” Swygart said. “As a former police administrator involved in recruitment, hiring and training, I recognize Isaac as the kind of individual who comes along very infrequently.”

Isaac took a minute to check in. 

Why did you choose law enforcement?

I chose law enforcement because of my desire to help and protect others. I am motivated by the community I serve. The interactions and experiences I have had with the community keep me going every day.

What do you do as a police officer?

My main responsibility in patrol is to respond to calls for service. However, my favorite part of the shift is when I get to go to the parks or schools and hang out with the kids or talk with other people in the community.

Why is it important to you to be a subject matter expert and resource to your team?

I try to be someone that other people can rely on to assist them with the complicated situations we face every day. I work with a great team who all work very well together. I've found that by having a great team that works together and can rely on one another comes great success.

How do you put the knowledge and critical thinking skills you honed at Ohio State to work in your job?

I learned at Ohio State the importance of working together as a team. I worked for the university in multiple different capacities while I was there. I use the skills I learned during my time there at my job every day. I think those skills and experiences helped me get to where I am today.

How did having a full Rudd and other scholarships during college affect what you have been able to do since graduation?

The Rudd Scholarship really helped me get through college without having to worry about the financial stresses. This led me to be able to focus on my classes and achieve a good academic standing. I think this ultimately helped me get the job I am currently in. 

Now that you have been out in the world, what are the things from college that stand out to you as important and meaningful?

I think the relationships I made while in college helped shape me into the person I am today. I will forever be grateful to all of the amazing people I met at Ohio State. Officer Swygart, who I worked for at Ohio State Lima really got me interested in law enforcement to begin with. I think he is a big reason I got into the profession. Now I wouldn't trade this job for anything.


Isaac Altenburger graduated magna cum laude from The Ohio State University with a BA in Criminology and a minor in classics.