IU Southeast Magazine - Spring 2014 - page 29

IU Southeast
Fall 2013 27
gymnastics, caring for plants on campus,
and helping as a teaching assistant in Dr.
Baker’s field ecology class.
She pursued an interest in law
enforcement in 2003 when she started
working for the Milltown, Indiana
police department. Larison studied and
trained at the Indiana Law Enforcement
Academy, and became a canine officer
while working for the Milltown police.
Larison graduated from IU Southeast
with a Bachelor of Science degree in
biology and an Associate’s degree in
chemistry in 2005. When the grant
funding her position with the police
department in Milltown ended, she
took a job working for the IU Southeast
police department.
“It was fun to be on campus in that role
after just graduating and because I was
a staff member, and I continued taking
classes even though I already had my
degrees,” Larison said.
Larison was taking a herpetology class
in February 2008 when she struck
up a conversation with a classmate,
Ray Born, who happened to be the
supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service Office of Law Enforcement,
Port of Louisville.
“He was surprised that I was a police
officer who already had my biology
degree but was still taking additional
classes during my free time,” Larison
said. “He asked me what I thought
about another career change.”
By April, Larison was working for the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“If it hadn’t been for IU Southeast, I
wouldn’t have this job,” she said.
Larison often gets asked why there
would need to be wildlife inspectors
working in Customs in a place like
Louisville.
“The Port of Louisville for the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service exists primarily
because of the UPS World port hub,”
she said. “It’s one of the busiest in the
world in terms of the volume coming in
and out of the region, not to mention
that there are also direct flights from
Canada coming in to Louisville and
various private runways.”
That’s important because in her
profession, Larison’s role is to
help enforce not only U.S. laws on
Ruben Borrego with the IU Southeast Police Department, walks with Denise Larison and her partner Butter.
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