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Secret Life: Kevin Goggins

After an extremely intensive and almost life-threatening experience working in a correctional , Kevin Goggins, a member of the Lawrence University Campus Security department, gladly chooses to spend the rest of his retirement ensuring the safety and comfort of the Lawrence community. He also extends his expertise by being an escort in the Chapter 980 Supervised Release program.

Even though Kevin Goggins joined the campus almost two years ago, watching his pleasant and genuine interactions with diverse groups of students as well as faculty, together with the ease in which he handles emergencies or aggressive situations, models the Campus security’s policy of being fair but firm. Furthermore, he models the policy in the way he is accepting of all people regardless of the situation, and still ensures that he enforces the rules through which Campus is run.

Goggins grew up in Waupaca and went to the University of Wisconsin at Osh Kosh, after which he enrolled in the University of Arizona. He proceeded to pledge his allegiance to the United States Army Military Intelligence Corps, and when asked about his time there, his answer was, “that’s unfortunately all I can say about that… Just know I have seen a whole lot” It is evident that Goggins is a man of his word and will not jeopardize the security of others just so he can appear cool. He certainly seems to have had a rare experience that we can only dream of- unless of course we choose to join the Military intelligence.

After being a part of the Military Intelligence, he applied for a job in the Waupaca Sheriff’s department and was forwarded to the Wisconsin’s State Department of Corrections, where he spent most of his time handling the inmates and their sometimes life-threatening and malicious activity. According to Goggins, upon entering the Correction facility, there were about 550 inmates, but by the time he retired that number had jumped to 1,400 and the instances of violence had also grown. He was visibly saddened when he spoke of performing CPR on 16 different inmates, but was unable to resuscitate any of them. In describing the tense atmosphere of the prison, he said, “when a buzzer sounds, it is terrifying because it could mean violence against fellow officers or among the inmates or even death… some of whom are very good friends.” He strongly believes that the increase in the number of inmates and in the violence can be attributed to the fact that, “people are not being held accountable for what they do” and once people learned to accept responsibility of their actions, perhaps they may take into consideration how it affects other people around them.

The contrasting animosity and tension in a prison makes Goggins appreciate the positivity and determination of the students on campus and creates a great. Even with the little disturbances on drunken nights or during safety emergencies, Goggins still manages to find amusement in it all. Of course, having drunk students call to complain about their ID cards not being able to unlock the door, only to find out they were using their driver’s license, does add humor to the situation.

According to Goggins, his life outside of Lawrence does not really involve any particular hobbies due to the time commitment involved during his work in the State’s Department of corrections. Before that took over, he enjoyed coaching his four sons in their high school football games and is a proud father of the only set of triplets in the state of Wisconsin to win two Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) State Football Championships.

Goggins expresses his gratitude countless times, for the respect, receptiveness and assistance afforded him by his colleagues and bosses, and particularly the students. He admires the alliance between staff and students that enables a harmonious campus. We certainly appreciate his patience with us students and the resourcefulness of the Campus security department as a whole.