This is a content holder for the one button emergency notification system.

Second Shift

Police officer wounded on the job finds new path through education

Ryan Moore, ’21, saw himself spending his entire career in law enforcement. Then everything changed one summer day in 2018.

Ryan, a Falmouth police officer at the time, and his partner were shot after responding to a disturbance. Ryan was grazed in the neck by a bullet.

“It didn’t take long for me to realize I would not be able to do that job again,” he said. “I think I would have been scared when I shouldn’t have been. I would project that onto other incidents that might not justify a certain response. I wouldn’t be able to do the job the same.”

In search of a new professional passion, he turned to Bridgewater State University. Ryan is studying criminal justice with the goal of attending law school and becoming a lawyer.

“I wanted to make sure I felt I was going in a direction where I could find a career with the same sense of feeling and purpose as policing,” he said.

Though recovered physically, Moore faces emotional challenges such as PTSD. He praised his BSU professors for helping him cope and offering flexibility when he attended programming for first responders dealing with their own trauma.

“I’ve learned I’m still going to be able to move forward … and that I have the potential to do something great,” he said.

Police officers share a strong bond, so leaving the force is difficult even under good circumstances, said Dr. Mitch Librett, a BSU criminal justice professor and former police lieutenant.

But, Ryan is a bright student who has the right attitude to reinvent himself, according to Librett.

“Ryan comes into class always smiling, and he still wants to make a difference,” said Librett, who relates to Ryan’s emotions because he was shot at three times during his own law enforcement career. “He’s got the drive and determination and came out of this stronger.”

While Ryan enrolled at Bridgewater to advance his education, he found the social interactions he’d been missing. He also discovered BSU’s lessons stretch far beyond the classroom.

“After the incident, it was hard to trust people. Your perception is skewed. I thought everyone was out to get me,” he recalled. BSU “shows you there are more good people than there are bad.”

Do you have a BSU story you'd like to share? Email