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State trooper is proud CCRI alumnus
July 2, 2012
The Rhode Island State Police, says Maj. David P. Tikoian ’88, is one of the few state police forces that still maintains a robust boxing program at its training academy.
Tikoian was trained in the sport during his time as a cadet in 1992 when his instructor shared a quote with him: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
He has lived by this quote. Tikoian left the University of Rhode Island after just one semester in 1986 but decided to give school another chance at the Community College of Rhode Island.
“I quit school, and I wasn’t going to go back, but here I am a graduate of the Community College of Rhode Island and Bryant University and now a major on the state police,” Tikoian said. “I don’t know if it was the class size or the atmosphere or the individual attention that you get there – it’s probably all those things combined – but I did very well at CCRI, and that was to me an example of ‘You get out of it what you put into it.' CCRI gave me my second chance.”
Tikoian went on to Bryant University, graduated cum laude as a Business Administration major, and went to work for a construction company he had been with on-and-off since his teenage years, J.H. Lynch Construction in Cumberland.
Though he enjoyed the work, he soon decided to pursue a boyhood dream by applying to join a new class of cadets at the Rhode Island State Police. The father of Tikoian’s lifelong friend had been a trooper and Tikoian always thought it looked like a great career.
He was one of 35 cadets selected for the Class of 1992 out of 3,900 applicants. Tikoian and the other cadets completed 20 weeks of grueling paramilitary training, rising at dawn for physical training, extensive classroom instruction, military-style parade drilling, boxing, and vehicle and firearms training before going to bed at 10 p.m. and repeating the cycle.
Tikoian’s first assignment was to the state police barracks in Portsmouth, the farthest from his home in Smithfield. It is typical practice within the state police to send troopers far from home because it forces them to learn the state better.
Tikoian has served at all five Rhode Island state police barracks and spent 10 years on the Governor’s Executive Security Detail, protecting Governors Lincoln Almond and Donald Carcieri.
Promoted to lieutenant, his next assignment was to Weekend Officer in Charge, the highest ranking commissioned officer on duty Friday through Monday for 12 hours at a time.
“That was probably one of the best jobs I had in the state police because I had an opportunity to get involved in all aspects of the operations, both as an investigator, administrator and a supervisor,” he said. “But the most gratifying part of that assignment was the ability to interact daily with our troopers. I’m proud of the work that they do.”
Tikoian now heads the inspectional services unit for the state police, making sure the organization complies with national standards for law enforcement agencies.
Without CCRI, he said, he never would have attended Bryant or made it into the state police.
“I’ve been to a lot of CCRI commencements [while on the Governor’s Security Detail] and I’ve seen the smiles on those graduates’ faces, young and old,” Tikoian said. “It’s something I can relate to.”