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Lt. Greenlee earns master’s degree

A former nightshift lieutenant who set his sights on achieving more and furthering his education has done just that.

University of Tennessee Police Department Lt. Brian Greenlee received his Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Tennessee Martin.

“With my new position within the department, I felt like this degree would help my career in the future,” said Lt. Brian Greenlee. “My hope is that it would open up other doors when it’s time to retire, whether that be teaching or instructing opportunities.”

Greenlee, who is now the lieutenant in Administration, spent 14 years on night shift, and the last three as lieutenant. During his time on nigh shift, he spent time constantly encouraging officers to further their education.

“It was more of a challenge for the officers on shift, I wanted to see them further their education and work to make themselves more valuable,” said Greenlee. “I told the officers, I am right here with you all, and will work my way through it as well.”

From February 2023 to May 2024, he spent most of his free time working on his assignments from class and setting his sights on the finish line.

“I am really most proud of my GPA, which was a 3.78, and the overall accomplishment as a whole,” said Greenlee. “When I first started my career in law enforcement, I never saw myself earning a master’s degree, but I am proud of myself for stepping up and achieving it.

During his time juggling classes and working at the police department, he also spends time taking Federal Emergency Management Agency (Emergency Management Institute) classes as well, still working to add to his skillset.

“One thing I realized is that criminal justice is a very large field, there are so many different routes that people can take; from law enforcement to forensics, to criminology, to many more,” said Greenlee. “It isn’t just a steppingstone; it really prepares you for a multitude of tasks and helps in the professional environment as well.”

Greenlee is now one of many that has been added to the ever-growing list of members of UTPD that now have an advanced degree.

“We constantly encourage our officers to take what the University of Tennessee offers when it comes to educational benefits, take those classes, set those goals for a higher education degree and achieve them,” said UTPD Chief Sean Patterson. “When we get new or younger officers, every member of our department pitches in to help them and encourage them in every aspect, not just furthering their education, but also showing them what the Big Orange family is all about.”

“When I walk into my office, I look over on my wall and see my master’s degree, and every day, I know that the University of Tennessee has not only helped me every step of the way, but allowed me to become a graduate, and for that, I am ever grateful,” said Greenlee.