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During the 30 years he spent at UCM, Mike Wiggins touched the lives of hundreds of students hoping to pursue professional careers in criminal justice while also contributing to the professional development of others who are already working in the field. The professor emeritus retired this year while serving as director of the National Police Institute (NPI), now known as the Central Missouri Police Academy.
Wiggins came to the university in 1979 as an assistant professor of criminal justice administration, after working previously as a police instructor at the North Delta Regional Training Academy at Northeast Louisiana University (now University of Louisiana at Monroe). He was named associate professor at UCM in 1987, and joined NPI in 1992. As director, he was responsible for administrative, supervisory and teaching duties related to NPI’s nationwide courses and helped the institute develop a strong reputation nationally as a police training center.
Wiggins’ duties also included serving as director of the UCM Law Enforcement Basic Training Academy, overseeing management of 22 instructional faculty members; director of the Criminal Justice Computer Laboratory; and director of the National RADAR Critical Performance Testing Laboratory.
His vast university service included appointments by the provost to the Academic Software Advisory Committee, the UCM Campus Safety Committee, and the university Network Virus Attack Response Task Force. He also served on more than 105 committees at the university, department and college levels, of which many were graduate, program review, promotion, and thesis committees.
After completing the Law Enforcement Basic Training Academy at Louisiana State University, Wiggins earned a bachelor’s degree in corrections and master’s degree in criminal justice at University of Louisiana at Monroe. He earned his doctorate in adult education/criminal justice research and planning at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg.