Salve Success: Shane Bowes serves and protects as Connecticut state trooper
Growing up in Leicester, Massachusetts, Shane Bowes ’20, ’22 (M.S.) always wanted to get into state police law enforcement. After attending a student trooper program in high school through the American Legion and Massachusetts State Police, he decided to fully commit to his lifelong career dream and pursue higher education to achieve this goal.
A call to mercy
When Bowes was looking at undergraduate universities, he wanted to enroll in a university that had a 5-year dual degree program in order to complete his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice and criminology (CJC). Salve Regina became his University of choice upon considering familial connections, merit scholarships awarded and the beautiful campus location of Newport, Rhode Island.
While an undergraduate and graduate student in Salve’s CJC program, Bowes connected with several U.S. Naval War College of Newport professors — including Dr. Hank Brightman, an adjunct professor at Salve.
“Dr. Brightman was very special to the undergraduate and graduate Salve CJC programs, because he brought so much to the table and was always willing to help Salve in and out,” Bowes said.
Outside of his undergraduate courses, Bowes was a First Year Transitions (FYT) mentor to Salve first years from 2018-20. In this position, Bowes co-facilitated the FYT-100 course with an instructor and assisted students to develop leadership skills including organization, facilitation, and written and verbal communication.
As Bowes went on to complete his master’s degree in administration of justice and homeland security with a concentration in leadership in justice, he noticed that the opportunities to professionally network with students, faculty and staff were even greater than in the undergraduate CJC level. The master’s classes helped him meet many colleagues involved in different criminal justice career paths.
“I gained a lot from my classmates within the graduate classes,” Bowes reflected. “Everyone combined the academics with their personal experiences and work experience.”
Bowes also enjoyed holistic-minded leadership and counseling classes at Salve, which he believes helped him prepare for the demands of law enforcement.
“I knew that I’d be met with days of extreme stress and compiled trauma, so I wanted to seek opportunities to create strategies to manage these feelings,” Bowes said.
Entering law enforcement in Connecticut
By the time he began his master’s degree, Bowes was already in the hiring process for the Connecticut state trooper program. While it took around six to seven months, eventually Bowes attained his goal of getting invited into the academy.
“You are in the academy for 28 to 30 weeks, Monday through Friday,” Bowes described. “It’s long days of rigorous, physical and emotional stress with physical and academic training. You are challenged in every way possible to be transformed from a civilian into a state trooper.”
Coming out of the training academy, Bowes was assigned to work out of Troop D in Danielson, Connecticut. Troop D is the patrolling of 13 towns in northeastern Connecticut, and troopers in this group typically respond to local 911 emergency calls for service and conduct investigations on the road.
Bowes is also a member of the Honor Guard Unit and the recruit mentoring program for Connecticut State Police Recruits attending the academy.
“These positions have given me a different perspective on my job outside the traditional patrol function,” Bowes said.
In November 2023, Bowes will be undergoing training to become a State Troopers Offering Peer Support (STOPS) peer contact. The STOPS program is part of the Connecticut State Police’s wellness program. STOPS peer contacts are a source of contact for any state police trooper that wants to have a confidential conversation and seek additional services the state offers.
“I will be offering support and promoting overall wellness for Connecticut State troopers undergoing stress and trauma on their jobs,” Bowes explained.
Bowes said that he took his interest and passion of mentoring Salve FYT students and carried it over to this new mentoring position.
A word of advice
Bowes offered advice to any student looking to pursue criminal justice degrees at the undergraduate or graduate level at Save Regina.
“Keep your opportunities open and allow yourself to pursue your passions and strengths fully,” Bowes said. “You never know where your career is going to take you and how you’re going to be influenced by different opportunities.”
Reflecting on his five years at Salve Regina, Bowes feels that his education at Salve definitely helped him prepare for his current role in the Connecticut State Police. He also credits the holistic leadership and counseling classes at Salve for not only managing his stress and trauma on the job, but also helping him continue his mentorship role in helping his fellow troopers.
Overall, Salve’s mercy mission was an important part of shaping Bowes, and he knows that his path will be shaped by the values instilled in him during his time at the University.
“Having the kinds of humanitarian values instilled throughout my college education has allowed me to be more comfortable in providing empathetical service to victims,” Bowes concluded. “Salve’s culture is trying to foster a harmonious, just, and merciful perspective on life …. It was interesting to see this in the perspective of the law enforcement field, as it shaped the way I see and problem solve now in my everyday job.”
Salve Success is a series of student success stories periodically featured on SALVEtoday. Check out the tag Salve Success for more stories.