Major: Administration of Justice
High School: Liverpool, class of 1983
Michael Lefancheck’s boyhood dream was to be a police officer. Onondaga Community College helped make his dream come true. He earned a degree in the Administration of Justice program which is now known as Criminal Justice. “OCC’s program is excellent. It provided me with the necessary education and helped me develop other skills I would need to become a better police officer.”
His “other skills” came from a public speaking class and an internship at Hillbrook Juvenile Detention. The internship turned into a job as a juvenile counselor, an opportunity which he says helped him learn how to talk to people. “Often when you arrive on a call you are seeing people at their lowest point. Being able to bring a sense of calm and get people to do something they may not want to do in a peaceful way is critical.”
In 1987 Lefancheck went from Hillbrook to the Baldwinsville Police Department. Thirty-one years later he’s still there serving the village as Chief of Police. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I love where I am and consider myself fortunate to have the ability to have a positive impact on the community while also shaping new officers.”
Lefancheck is a frequent visitor to the OCC campus. He enjoys returning and speaking with today’s Criminal Justice students. “I want to learn from them as much as I hope they want to learn from me. Students may inspire me to think differently about a situation and I hope I can instill in them some of the qualities that afforded me a successful career in law enforcement in return.”
Lefancheck recently served as President for the Onondaga County Chiefs of Police and is currently President of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police. He has four children. The oldest is a graduate of OCC and the youngest is a student here.