News Release

Senior Richard Cobble’s Interest in Criminal Justice Sparked in First Grade

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Friday, August 17, 2018

Written by Senior Maggie Mills, a communication major and communications assistant in University Relations. 

Children dream of becoming astronauts, dancers, actors, or doctors when they grow up. For a young Richard Cobble, he knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up: an officer. One day when Cobble was in first grade, a local police officer came to his elementary school to 

Richard Cobble speak about the popular Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. The officer also spoke about his personal experiences through his service to help and protect the people of his community. Wide-eyed and fascinated, Cobble knew, at that moment, he could become a real-life hero when he grew up.

Fast forward years later, and the decision to attend the University of Minnesota Crookston to major in criminal justice seems like a perfect fit and it was. Through Cobble’s active involvement, he has grown to love both the campus and community through the Golden Eagle Football program, Golden Eagle Mentoring, and his summer internship.

In the summer of 2017, Cobble was given the opportunity to serve with the Polk County Sheriff’s office as their summer intern. Throughout that time, Cobble rode along with the county’s deputies, worked with criminal investigators, Richard Cobble traveled on prison runs, and experienced the office aspect of the job. From ride alongs, during the day and in the night, Cobble got a taste of what his dream job would be.

Cobble stated, “I enjoyed riding along during the night shifts because it seems like more calls came in. During that time the driving around gave me the perfect opportunity to ask the deputy I was with about their personal opportunities, experiences, and any advice they would offer me.”

Now a senior, Cobble has credited his success to his professors and peers who have encouraged him to go above and beyond and to his U of M Crookston family for giving him continuous support and encouragement.

Being a student-athlete has taught Cobble many disciplines, such as critical thinking, communication skills, responding to adversity, and working under pressure—all qualities that will help him in his future field. One coach, in particular, significantly influenced Cobble’s life. Coach Dave Volk saw Cobble come in as an undersized football player and took him under his wing. Cobble stated, “Coach Volk has always believed in me. He knew when to push me for improvement and most importantly, he never let our team get down about ourselves.”

Looking into the future, Cobble looks forward to seeing all opportunities in the criminal justice field. In the summer of 2019, Cobble plans to attend the SKILLS police academy in Alexandria, Minn. Here criminal justice students learn the fundamentals of being a police officer, procedures, tactics, physical preparedness, and class work.

With graduation just over the horizon in 2019, Cobble is that much closer to becoming that real-life hero he dreamed of when he was just a boy.

The University of Minnesota Crookston now delivers 35 bachelor's degree programs, 25 minors, and 40 areas of emphasis on campus as well as 16 degree programs entirely online.  These degrees are offered in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from more than 20 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

In the photo: When Senior Richard Cobble has the chance, he enjoys spending time in Itasca State Park near his home in Bemidji, Minn. 


Elizabeth Tollefson

University Relations