MORRIS – Grundy Area Vocational Center's Board of Control voted unanimously Thursday night to hire Brent Dite as a criminal justice instructor for the 2016-2017 school year – a move Dite said will lead to him eventually stepping down from his role as police chief for the city of Morris.
Dite has spent 28 years at the Morris Police Department, starting as a part-time patrol officer and part-time dispatcher in 1988. He worked his way from patrol officer to being appointed as chief in 2007 by Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick.
Dite said he views the new job as a GAVC instructor as a career change, not early retirement.
"I've always had a passion for criminal justice," Dite said prior to Thursday's meeting. "The opportunity presented itself and my wife and I sat and discussed career options. I think I have a lot to offer the students from my experience in law enforcement."
Dite, an alumnus of GAVC, said he is excited to have the opportunity to teach students of Grundy County and help those interested in the field see all the opportunities available to them in the field.
"There are a lot of positions in the criminal justice field that aren't being a police officer. My connections I've made as chief have allowed me to acquire relationships within the community that can help students," he said.
GAVC Director Lance Copes said the center was looking for an instructor who was passionate and student-centered, and Dite is both.
"We've been lucky to have instructors with high levels of experience," Copes said prior to the meeting. "The program focuses on criminal justice at many levels including court, probation, department of corrections and police work."
He said Dite brings knowledge of cutting-edge technology used in police work today, and is the perfect candidate for the job to show students how officers do their job in today's technology driven world.