Campus Closeup: Adam Maynard
Officer Adam Maynard (Public Safety) hasn’t had to travel far in life—not even off campus—to achieve his professional goals. When the Marquette native wanted to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, he stayed in his hometown to attend Northern. When he needed to complete the required training for a career in law enforcement, he enrolled in the NMU Regional Police Academy. And the first job he landed after graduation was with NMU Public Safety.
Maynard joined the campus force in 2005 and was the first officer assigned to Marquette General Hospital through its contract with NMU to provide security. He has spent the past five years on road patrol on the midnight shift. He also monitors crowds at hockey games and other events, as needed.
“The majority of my job at the hospital was related to communication, which I think is my strength,” Maynard said. “I like interacting with others and I’m able to talk things out rather than react to them. That was helpful when people arrived there with psychological issues or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. On road patrol, situations often involve alcohol. Marijuana use is up noticeably because it’s more accessible now with the medical marijuana. Even with a card, you can’t have it in your possession or smoke it on campus because the university is federally funded. It’s really a matter of perspective, though, because the things we respond to involve only a small percentage of the population.”
NMU Public Safety assists city, county and state agencies—and vice versa—by providing mutual aid on calls. Maynard responded to the September fatal shooting at a West Ridge Street apartment where a meth lab was operating.
“First, we’re lucky in the sense you rarely get that kind of call in Marquette; it’s not like some cities where it’s routine. But when you hear that over the radio, you’re rushing to the scene trying to plan out in your head what you’ll do once you get there while also focusing on what’s happening around you. Domestic violence incidents are more common, partly because the laws have changed to be more responsive and proactive. Even verbal arguments are documented to try to prevent things from escalating to something more serious later. Those calls are always nerve-wracking because you never know what you’ll get. Emotions are high and the situation can change very quickly.”
Maynard is putting his emergency medical services academic minor to use as a contingent employee with MGH EMS, covering shifts impacted by vacations and other factors based on his availability, and as a volunteer with the Chocolay Township Fire Department.
When he’s not on duty in some capacity, Maynard enjoys time with his family. His wife, Laura, is a home daycare provider. They have two sons, 6-year-old Austin and 20-month-old Sebastian. Maynard also chips away at a novel he’s been working on for a few years that features a police officer. Writing is a relatively new hobby he stumbled upon. While going through old boxes, Maynard discovered a book about a detective dog that he had completed at age 12 as part of the local Young Authors Program. Assuming his kids might like to read their dad’s work, he had it published as The Adventures of Dynamo Dog and the Case of the Missing Jewelry.
“I didn’t set out to sell tons of books and make money. It was mainly for our son. He thought it was cool, so I started going to elementary schools and reading it. The response from the students was pretty good and I enjoyed interacting with them. Sometimes kids develop scary or negative impressions of police officers, but it was nice to do something positive that showed we can be friendly and helpful. I wouldn’t say writing comes naturally to me, but I always did well at it in school. I figured I would try it and see what happens. There are a couple more books with Dynamo Dog that have more of an educational aspect, but I haven’t published them yet because it’s expensive to do.”
Criminal justice has been the field of choice in Maynard’s family. His grandfather, father and uncle have worked in corrections, but Maynard chose a different path because “I just didn’t want to be locked up with people and restricted in that way. It’s important work; just not for me. I like getting out and communicating with people. I also like being in a position to help them. It sounds corny, but that’s really what drove me to become a police officer.”