Alumnus Brings Personal Touch to Community Policing

Editors’ Note: This feature appears as it was published in the summer 2019 edition of UT Dallas Magazine. Titles or faculty members listed may have changed since that time.
Black police officer with folded arm poses in front of his squad car 
With his outgoing personality and penchant for problem-solving, Kanvin Ravin MPA’08 has built a successful 20-year career in the Plano Police Department.
Recognized in 2017 with the department’s Officer of the Year award, he takes pride in mentoring new recruits and tackling new challenges. He currently serves on the department’s bomb squad and is one of two Problem-Oriented Police Officers for the Dallas metro area.
“The overall mission of our department is to provide outstanding policing service in partnership with the community and to maintain a safe environment that contributes to quality of life,” Ravin said. “We excel at what we do through communication.”
Ravin’s recognition in 2017 came after he played several key roles across the professional standards division and served as an instructor at the department’s training academy. Among his many accomplishments was facilitating effective training for officer interactions with the deaf community.
Underlying this philosophy is Ravin’s graduate education at UT Dallas. During his first years in Plano, Ravin was encouraged by human resources director Greg Carpenter MPA’05 to pursue UT Dallas’ Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management.
“I went to a couple of classes and loved it,” Ravin said. “I was around other adult learners like myself, all from different branches of government and other local entities. I really made a lot of friends there.”
After finishing the certificate, Ravin transferred his credits to UTD’s Master of Public Affairs program, completing the degree in two years.
During this time, Ravin learned about the importance of fostering connections between branches of government and how an interpersonal approach to problem-solving can lead to better outcomes.
Since graduating, Ravin has maintained close ties to UT Dallas. His son, a student at Heritage High School in Frisco, comes to campus one Saturday each month for the Future Comets Program, which provides college preparation and enrichment courses in STEM disciplines.
“He loves it,” Ravin said. “He tells me, ‘Dad, I want to go here.’”