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Christopher Sniffin

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Franciscan Faces

Christopher Sniffin

In Pursuit of Criminal Justice

Summer 2023 | Maura Roan McKeegan

In This Article

When Christopher Sniffin ’23 came to Franciscan University from Enfield, Connecticut, he knew he wanted to serve his community in some way. With a family history of military service going back four generations, and his father and uncle both firefighters, it seemed natural that Chris would enter a service profession. But he didn’t know yet what it would be. He considered teaching, or being a first responder, but nothing felt right. Then one day, a friend made an offhand comment.

“You know, Chris, I gotta be honest,” his friend said. “I could really see you being a cop.”

The idea struck a chord. Looking into it, Chris became convinced that law enforcement was his calling and declared his major in criminal justice.

He attended a talk on campus on policing as vocation given by Lieutenant Paul Boyles of the Lexington, Kentucky, Police Department, and was deeply impacted by the officer’s words.

“We get to meet people at their absolute lowest,” Lieutenant Boyles said. “And what we do in that situation can change their lives.”

That statement confirmed everything Chris had come to believe. He saw two sides to the same coin: on one side, he could help reform criminals, and on the other, he could help victims and their families.

Chris stayed in touch with Lieutenant Boyles, and over winter break of his senior year, he went to Kentucky for an internship with the Lexington Police Department.

“It was an absolutely amazing experience,” remembers Chris. He went on ride-alongs, helped investigate cases, and worked with many different units, including the K-9 unit, which is what he especially wants to do. He even received a letter of commendation for his work in helping to apprehend a burglary suspect.

On campus, Chris devoted himself to Franciscan’s Criminal Justice Program, co-founding Lambda Alpha Epsilon—a chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association—and becoming an inaugural member of Alpha Phi Sigma—the National Criminal Justice Honor Society.

One of his favorite things about the program has been the bond he’s made with his professors in the department.

“I can pretty much go and talk to them about anything,” he says.

In addition to law enforcement, Chris has pursued many other interests during his time at Franciscan.

“I do a lot of hunting and fishing,” says the country and bluegrass fan, who has also taken up playing the banjo and the washboard.

This past spring, with graduation approaching, Chris decided to submit his application to the Lexington Police Department, where he did his internship.

“I’m very thankful I got to intern there,” emphasizes Chris. “It was a great experience, and hopefully, it will be where I end up for the rest of my career.”

Maura Roan McKeegan is the author of Peter and Jesus by a Charcoal Fire and other Catholic children’s books.


Maura Roan McKeegan is the author of “Saved by the Lamb: Moses and Jesus” and other Catholic children’s books.

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