By Jordan Beach
Education was not always part of Benjamin Cohen’s life goals. Two degrees later, Cohen has earned several promotions, leads Cobb County’s Police Academy and is pursuing his second graduate degree.
Cohen’s time at Reinhardt University taught him an appreciation for formal education. He entered the Marine Corps immediately following high school with no interest in higher education. In the late 2000s, he began to see the potential in earning a degree, but he didn’t stop there.
“After obtaining my bachelor’s I figured, ‘Why stop?’ and went for my master’s at Reinhardt and am now in a homeland security and defense master’s program with the Naval PostGraduate School,” said Cohen.
The first program Cohen enrolled in at Reinhardt was Organizational Management and Leadership and graduated in 2012.
“As a full-time police sergeant, married, father of two boys, it was the best program that fit my education and personal needs at the time,” said Cohen. “I was in my late 30s and was not a traditional student, and this program was exactly what I wanted.”
When starting the program Dr. Donald Wilson, now retired from Reinhardt, gave his first words of advice to Cohen’s cohort, telling them to “stay on the bus,” a phrase his classmates learned throughout their courses.
“Our class did not get it right away, but we realized that there would be struggles – and there were – but we all ‘stayed on the bus,’ and graduated.”
A couple years following Cohen’s completion of the OML program, he began looking for an advanced degree in public administration with a minor in criminal justice. While he faced uncertainties when applying, he enjoyed Reinhardt’s faculty, with the program taught at Reinhardt’s then-North Fulton campus at the time and graduated in 2018.
“I looked all around the state and online and the best program I found was the Master of Public Administration program being run at Reinhardt. I was reluctant at first, but again, Reinhardt faculty were awesome and made things easy to navigate.”
Through the various degrees Cohen earned, he also earned higher rankings and took on new roles in his field. Since graduating from Reinhardt, Cohen received a promotion to lieutenant and captain at the Cobb County Police Department. He also held the position of assistant SWAT Team Commander, intelligence and gang commanders, and currently serves as the Director of the Cobb County Police Academy for Cobb Police.
Cohen attributes much of the reason for his promotions to his education. He encourages students to work hard, and to do so with integrity.
“My advice to current Reinhardt students is to work hard and earn your degree in whatever interests you. It sounds cliché, but when you earn your degree or degrees, your employment opportunities grow exponentially. Work hard, be honest and do the right thing, even when no one is watching.”