Retiring justice studies professor leaves lasting mark on program
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Darkness awakens the night class studying the minds of murderers. A banner of student signatures in the back reads, “School of Justice Studies,” showing Professor Dr. Tom Mahoney’s accomplishments within the City College program over the past 18 years.
“Please help the old guy with the tired eyes out,” said Mahoney, former chair for the department.
After four years in the Marine Corps, 25 years as a police officer, and 38 years of teaching, Mahoney is ready to retire next semester.
“He really knows what he is talking about,” said student Jessica Magana.
Next semester will be his last at City College. He has no doubt in his mind Professor Anne Redding, current department chair, will keep the program running, growing and changing as necessary.
After Mahoney retires, Redding wants the department’s core values to stay the same as far as the direction they’ve been taking together over the years.
“He is my mentor,” said Redding. “I respect him immensely; his intellect, sense of humor, his commitment to making this particular program literally the best of any community college in the state.”
His students have grown through his education to become police officers, deputy sheriffs, attorneys, court reporters, FBI agents and probation officers.
Mahoney received his master’s degree in criminal justice at California State University, Los Angeles and his doctorate in public administration from the University of La Verne.
Before coming to City College, he taught justice studies at Rio Hondo College part-time, while working for the police department. He has worked as police captain at the Culver City Police Department, and retired as a police chief for the South Pasadena Police Department in 1997.
City College hired him in 1999 as a full-time justice studies professor and department chair.
During his time at City College, Mahoney worked with Redding to turn the program into what it is today. He changed the program’s name from Administration of Justice, to the School of Justice Studies, and created two new degrees within the program, criminology and legal studies. Santa Barbara stands as the only community college in the state offering these degrees.
No one has been hired to replace Mahoney yet, and Redding is waiting for City College’s approval from the president’s office. The position will likely be filled because the School of Justice Studies was ranked highly by the Academic Senate for a replacement.
“In many ways, Dr. Mahoney cannot be replaced,” said Redding. “But as much as Dr. Mahoney has been perfect, we both recognize that it is an opportunity with a new person to think beyond what perhaps he and I have been doing,” Redding said.
He is content about his retirement in Spring 2017 and is certain Redding has everything under control. Spinning around his office chair, Mahoney embraced all the memories on the wall.
“We’ll see who gets the big office” he chuckled.