October 26, 2009
Lees-McRae graduate Dana Crawford is appointed Boone Chief of Police

Dana Crawford, a 2009 graduate of the Lees-McRae College Criminal Justice Program, is the new chief of police for the town of Boone.

With 20 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, Crawford feels more than ready to assume this new position. He spent the past 18 years as the assistant police chief for Beech Mountain where he was also an investigator and deputy sheriff.

"We're going to miss him a lot, but we're really excited for him," said Beech Mountain Police Chief Jay Hefner. "He was a great asset for our department, and he's going to be good for the town of Boone. He will be great leading them into the future, and I'm wishing him all the best."

"We're looking forward to having him on board," said Boone Town Manager Greg Young. "He is a very personable individual and will be a great fit for Boone."

Crawford earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice through the Lees-McRae College extended campus Criminal Justice Program. Among his fellow graduates were Banner Elk Police Chief Bill Burleson, Avery County Sherriff Kevin Frye, and Avery County School Resource Deputy Neil Buchanan.

"The program allowed me to obtain a career goal. The best part is that it allowed me to continue working. I would not have been able to complete my degree had I not been able to schedule around work and family," said Dana Crawford, chief of police for the town of Boone.

The Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degree program at Lees-McRae College can be completed in four semesters at one of the satellite campuses through a combination of seated and online courses.

At any given time, anywhere from forty to sixty students are enrolled in the program. Currently the program is offered at two of the satellite campus locations - Mayland Community College and Western Piedmont Community College.

"I believe what we are doing with the Extended-Campus Criminal Justice Program at Lees-McRae College is a wonderful opportunity. It gives working adults with families and responsibilities a chance to achieve great things. It is amazing to see how diverse the student population is at each of our satellite campuses, and how each student is able to succeed and achieve goals they never thought were possible," said Tracey Hoilman, a criminal justice professor and the Criminal Justice Extended Campus Coordinator.

"It is also so nice to see these students being able to fulfill dreams they have had for years. It makes my job worthwhile every time I see one of my students walk across that stage," Hoilman said.

For more information about the Lees-McRae College Criminal Justice Program please contact Tracy Hoilman at or 828.898.8784.

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Blaine Hansen  |  Vice President of Strategic Planning and Effectiveness
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