Alumnus Hassan Naji becomes Dearborn Heights Police Officer

Release Date
Headshot of Dearborn Heights police officer Hassan Naji.

HFC allowed Hassan Naji to explore career possibilities in pharmacy and in law enforcement.

“I attended HFC after high school because it was close to home, offered a wide variety of programs and career opportunities, and the tuition was affordable. I juggled different career paths, figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. HFC gave me an opportunity to exercise my options, gaining a high level of knowledge and education,” said Naji, a lifelong Dearborn resident.

Naji – who was recently sworn in as a police officer in the Dearborn Heights Police Department (DHPD) – spoke about his time in pharmacy. He worked as a pharmacy tech for five years.

“I got into pharmacy because a close friend was going into pharmacy and suggested it to me. He mentioned how his father recently opened a pharmacy in Farmington Hills and asked if I wanted to work there,” recalled Naji. “Years into it, I found myself not very passionate about it. I needed to re-evaluate my career and my future. I took a year to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I realized I wanted to help others feel safe and give back to the community, so I pinpointed law enforcement as a career.”

Interacting with the community in meaningful ways

The second of four and the youngest son, Naji is a graduate of Dearborn High School. He earned his associate degree in criminal justice from HFC and also graduated from the Wayne County Regional Police Training Center at Schoolcraft College. He also served as an intern for the Dearborn Police Department from 2015-18.

“During my time as an intern, I really learned what it was like to be involved in the community,” said Naji. “Being able to interact with the citizens and to have a police presence in the community goes a long way. Being visible to people whether you’re on foot during rounds or attending city events serves to give the department more community support. Bringing that experience and knowledge with me to the DHPD allows me to build relationships within the community. And when responding to calls, I am able to allow the victims to speak and let their voices be heard, which can solve a lot of civil and family issues.”

Naji cited HFC criminal justice instructor Dr. Jermaine Reese as one of his biggest influences.

“Dr. Reese advised me about which classes to take and gave me the motivation to pursue my career as a police officer. Had it not been for him and (fellow HFC criminal justice instructor) Michael Kennedy, I would not be in this career,” he said. “The best part about attending HFC was the number of opportunities to find a career that best suited me. The faculty and staff are readily available for the students. Also, the environment on campus and how diverse it is makes attending HFC an even better experience.”

Building confidence with each 911 call

His career goal is to put in 25 years as a police officer and then become an instructor at the police academy.

“For me, the best part about being a police officer is that every day is something new and unpredictable. It's never a boring day on the job. Also, the relationships you build with some of the people in the community are great,” explained Naji. “The most challenging part is that every dispatch/911 call is different. Being able to talk to people and deal with some of the more ‘colorful’ personalities is not easy, but it’s part of the job. With each call, you build confidence, so the next call is not as difficult.”

“If anyone is debating going into law enforcement or undecided about what to do in their career, I recommend looking into being a police officer. The future is bright for this field.”