BGSU alum creating safer communities as leader of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – A Bowling Green State University alumnus with more than three decades of experience in local law enforcement is leading public safety efforts statewide as superintendent of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Bruce Pijanowski ‘88 began his role as superintendent of the state’s top crime lab at the start of 2024, following his role as assistant superintendent of BCI from 2022 to 2023.

“The work we do at BCI is so important to the safety of our communities,” Pijanowski said. “The services we provide allow local law enforcement to work more efficiently and effectively, resulting in improved outcomes in investigations. We positively impact local communities right down to a single person.”

With five locations across the state, including one at BGSU, BCI serves as Ohio’s crime lab, maintains criminal records and offers expert and impartial investigative services to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. 

BGSU is one of the few universities in the nation to have an active criminal investigation lab on its campus, providing students with a unique learning experience and a gateway to advanced training and cutting-edge forensic science research.

Pijanowski, who graduated from the University’s highly sought-after criminal justice program, said he considers himself fortunate to have attended BGSU, crediting the comprehensive education he received with shaping his career.

The program’s approach to developing well-rounded individuals by incorporating courses from departments outside of criminal justice, including sociologypsychology, government and law helped Pijanowski develop broader perspectives of human behavior and community policing.

“Through the BGSU criminal justice program, I gained a better understanding of human nature and what makes people do the things they do,” he said. “As a police officer, that knowledge has allowed me to see beyond the situation at hand and know there is more below the surface.

“It helped me become a better police officer and inspired me to approach my job with empathy while working to make communities better and safer.”

In addition to being home to a nationally recognized criminal justice internship program at the undergraduate level, the University's online criminal justice master's program is ranked No. 1 among Ohio public universities and in the top 10 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

As superintendent of BCI, Pijanowski provides direction to the organization and helps develop statewide policies while upholding the agency’s values established by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

Before joining BCI, Pijanowski served for 34 years in numerous roles with the Delaware Police Department near Columbus, Ohio, including patrol officer, detective sergeant and assistant chief. He was police chief during the last 10 years at the department.

Updated: 01/26/2024 10:16AM