Watch CBS News

Dallas PD Major Says Master's Degree Improves Critical Thinking

Major Max Geron oversees the operations of the Violent Crimes Section of the Crimes Against Persons Division at the Dallas Police Department. The section is comprised of the various units that investigate violent crime throughout the city of Dallas. He deals with the media related to those investigations and ensures that the citizens receive the highest level of investigatory service possible. Geron oversees about 130 detectives, supervisors and civilians. He earned a master's degree in homeland security studies from the United States Naval Postgraduate School in California.

(Photo Courtesy of Major Max Geron)

Why did you pursue a master's degree?

"I chose to pursue a master's degree for a number of reasons. I had a hunger for more knowledge and for a foundation for continued advancement and success. I also had a profound respect for the quality of education offered by the United States Naval Postgraduate School and wanted the best education possible. I wanted to be tested and pushed beyond my comfort zone and to be as knowledgeable a professional as I could. My desire for a master's degree was heavily based on the quality of the institution. Being accepted and graduating are two of the happiest days of my life."

What would you tell someone who is considering returning to school to earn a master's degree?

"I would tell those who choose to pursue a master's degree that a quality degree will take a considerable commitment. Any master's student will need self-discipline, and if you have a family, they will need to be supportive. Be ready and open to thinking critically like you have never done before and be prepared to learn how to read and write at a graduate level."

What was the biggest challenge you faced when pursuing your master's degree?

"The biggest challenge I faced was the time commitment and its effect on my family. The NPS master's program requires in-residence time for two weeks each quarter of the program. When not in-residence, students take part in online individual and group collaboration in addition to reading and writing assignments. Furthermore, there is a thesis required so participants have to develop a research question and plot a research and writing plan and be able to stick to it in order to meet the deadlines."

What was the biggest reward for earning the master's degree?

"The biggest reward (beside the experience and the friendships that I formed with my cohort members) was gaining knowledge and confidence as a critical thinker in a field of highly intelligent and capable leaders. Earning the respect of the nation's homeland security professionals with whom I was studying and collaborating daily has been the most challenging and enjoyable experience of my professional career. I know professionals across the spectrum of local, state and federal homeland security, on which I can call when needed. This is invaluable for me personally and for my agency professionally. I'm proud of the work I did and of my contribution to homeland security."

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.