Kailah Mustain, 28, is majoring in criminal justice, and had the opportunity to do her practicum on the campus where she is a second-year student.
Mustain, who will graduate in May, chose STLCC-Forest Park because it offered her degree program in addition to her required general education courses.
“It didn’t feel like I was wasting my time by just taking general classes. I was taking classes toward an actual career,” said Mustain.
Since starting the practicum, Mustain has learned a lot about the dispatching job as well as the police officer’s role on campus. She’s also learned how to enter calls into the computer as they come, and how to dispatch officers.
“Working with Miss Mustain was a pleasant experience,” said Terri Buford, a lieutenant with Forest Park’s campus police. “She had an educational goal to accomplish. She was eager to learn and was motivated to come back to the St. Louis Community College Police department to complete assignments, such as inventorying the lost and found cabinet.”
Mustain has overcome many adversities. In September 2007, during her senior year of high school, she fell from a tree and was paralyzed from the waist down. Since then, Mustain has continued to excel in life and push to achieve her goals.
Campus police officers noted that Mustain never showed fear when given assignments or was asked to work with officers and the dispatchers. Mustain was thrown into dispatching with only a one-day crash course on radio language used by the dispatcher and officers, dispatching officers on assignment and recording the assignments on paper.
Working in the station has been eye opening for Mustain. She has learned how to communicate with the officers in order to get them where the need is. She also has learned the layout of the campus in case someone needs directions to a classroom or even to the station.
“People that I meet always tell me that I am an inspiration,” Mustain said. “I appreciate it; however, I don’t see myself that way. I am doing what I need to in order to have a future that I love.”
When asked what advice she would give to other students, Mustain said, “Keep your head up and push through the hard times. Remember, a storm only lasts so long. Eventually your hard work will pay off.”