Campus Closeup: Victor LaDuke
Victor LaDuke (Public Safety and Police Services) has served in the law enforcement arena at NMU for almost 30 years. As investigator, LaDuke oversees all criminal activity on campus.
“It’s not a perfect world and unfortunately, crime does occur,” LaDuke said.
LaDuke has a variety of duties in addition to investigating campus crimes. He is the property custodian, which includes maintaining both evidence and lost-and-found items. He processes traffic citations and maintains all issues sent to the district court. LaDuke is the chief firearms instructor and maintains department statistics on criminal activity. He also reviews reports and visits the prosecutor’s office on a daily basis to drop off or pick up paperwork.
“I’m the liaison between this office and all other outside agencies, including the courts and the prosecutor,” LaDuke said.
He works closely with the Marquette City Police Department to collaborate on serious crimes off campus. LaDuke investigates most arson cases. In addition, he looks into felonious assaults. The most prevalent crimes on campus are larcenies and vandalism, he said.
He said he follows all investigative leads to the logical conclusion. If a case remains unresolved, he maintains files and follows up on any leads that surface.
LaDuke recalls an unusual attempted kidnapping case from several years ago. It occurred between campus and the PEIF. A young woman was walking to work in the dark. Two men had broken the streetlight and were following her in a car. One got out with a pillowcase in hand, put it over her head and dragged her into the car. The woman struggled and was yelling, so when one of the men put his hand over her mouth, she bit him and fell out of the car. But she left behind an earring, which ultimately helped LaDuke locate the perpetrators.
“We don’t get attempted kidnappings very often and we’d like to keep it that way,” LaDuke said.
He coauthored a domestic violence policy that has been adopted by all police institutions in Marquette County and was published on a state and national level. LaDuke teaches a unit on domestic violence at the NMU Police Academy and was hired by the Michigan Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Michigan Commission of Law Enforcement Standards to put on three to four one-day seminars every year.
“I’m very much involved in the domestic violence issue,” LaDuke said.
In his free time, LaDuke enjoys fishing, hunting and camping. His wife teaches art and graduated from NMU. His son is pursuing a computer animation degree and his daughter attends Marquette Senior High School.