Rick Kline, Security
Since he began at LEC in 2010, Rick Kline has become a key figure among the LEC family. He is well known by people in all areas of the College, though he's perhaps best known by our students themselves.
Born in a coal mining town in southwestern Pennsylvania in 1952, Rick moved to Cleveland Heights with his family at age 6 before his family settled in Willoughby Hills in 1960. In 1971, Rick graduated from Willoughby South High School and then began a three-year stint in the U.S. Army.
Following the end of his service in 1974, Rick began his career in law enforcement while taking classes at Lakeland Community College to earn his associate’s degree in the field. He then transferred to Garfield Senior College, the co-ed division of Lake Erie College that existed at the time, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice in 1982. Since then, Rick has continued his education through many seminars and workshops over the years, always wanting to stay on top of current knowledge and training in the law enforcement field.
In 1977, prior to his time at LEC, Rick made the move to Painesville after he was hired by the Painesville City Police Department and has lived here ever since. He spent 33 years with the Painesville PD and rose to the rank of captain before retiring in 2010. As luck would have it, Rick was acquainted with Robin McDermott, former vice president of enrollment management and student affairs, and Billie Dunn, current vice president for student affairs, who suggested that he join the LEC staff as director of security. He chose to accept their offer and began his tenure with the College in 2010.
Since starting at LEC, Rick’s favorite part of the job has been interacting with the students, staff and faculty on campus, so much so that his favorite place on campus is the Arthur S. Holden Center, where people’s paths often cross. “Interacting with the students gives me the most joy,” he said. “I try to engage the students in conversation as much as possible to learn about their plans for the future. My hope is to help encourage them, support them or influence their growth, aspirations and choices in life in some way.”
In his day-to-day work, Rick feels most successful when he has the chance to help someone, whether it’s simply by unlocking a door or sitting down with someone and discussing that person’s future. He also enjoys the variability that his job requires, as he never knows what the next day will bring. “You can’t plan on knowing what will happen in the next hour or even the next five minutes,” he said. “I think that holds for life in general. Having the chance to get out and meet people is a definite plus with my job.”
In regard to the College as a whole, Rick’s favorite thing is the close-knit community that exists on campus. “At LEC, we try to treat everyone as family,” he said. “I’d say that many, if not all, of the students, faculty and staff feel the same way.”
When asked what advice he would give to future students, Rick stresses that life is a learning experience. “Some lessons come easily, but many are hard-learned,” he said. “College is a chance for you to make your own decisions as you grow to be productive adults. Lessons don’t only take place in the classroom, but also from the choices and decisions you make.”
Rick also wants students to know that the staff and faculty of the College are always here to help. “In the security office, that’s our motto: we’re here to help. Students can come to us for help with whatever issues they may have, and if we can’t help, we’ll certainly find someone who can.”