Kyler Pekarek '13

police officer

kyler pekarek '13
police officer, city of yankton
Degree: bachelor of arts in criminal justice
Campus: yankton

Why Mount Marty?

Kyler Pekarek, a police officer for the City of Yankton, South Dakota, was impressed by the Mount Marty College atmosphere from his very first visit. A transfer student, he had already completed two years of college at another school, but when he arrived at MMC, he knew he had found something special. “Every person I came into contact with seemed to truly care about me,” he says. “After that campus visit, I transferred to MMC.”

Those first impressions remained true for Kyler, who graduated in 2013. “You know that initial instinct I had about MMC being a caring community?” he asks. “It was that and more.”

Mount Marty’s Impact

Kyler points to his academic advisor and his baseball coaches as the most influential people during his time at MMC. “They would take time out of their day to touch base with me and guide me down the right path,” he says. “They were not just there for a job — they really wanted me to be successful.”

Road to Success

Kyler’s success in MMC’s criminal justice program secured him an internship with the Yankton Police Department, where he gained valuable real-world experience. By the time the internship came to an end, he knew he wanted to join that department. And through hard work and perseverance, he did.

“I met my goal when they offered me a position,” Kyler says. “I am now working toward becoming a K9 handler at the Yankton Police Department.”

Now a few years into his career, Kyler appreciates firsthand the value of choosing a college based on your own interests and the campus atmosphere rather than on where your friends go. “Keep in mind that even if you go in a different direction from your friends, they will still be part of your life,” he says. “And you will meet new friends wherever you go.”