On September 18, 2021, Ronald P. Baran, Class of 1960, was awarded the Missouri Military Academy (MMA) Hall of Fame Award in Community and Government Service at the Alumni Recognition and Donor Awards Banquet during MMA Homecoming. The award recognizes his success in community and government service, as well as his character, someone who is as a visionary, serving as a coach, mentor and developer for those who follow in his footsteps.
Baran enrolled at MMA in 1955 as an eighth-grader, where he immediately began building the skills that would be foundational to the rest of his career in government service. As an MMA cadet, he served as Charlie Company Staff Sergeant, and proudly participated in the Academy Chorus.
Young as he was, he was well-known for his dedication to serving and protecting others. After graduating from MMA, he volunteered for the draft and was assigned to the military police training facility at Fort Gordon, GA after basic training. Upon completion of his military police (MP) training he was assigned to the 523rd MP Company at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD. He was released from active duty in 1964 and went on to a career of service in law enforcement.
His military school and military police training provided the roots to his community and government service. Baran began his career with the Skokie, Illinois Police Department in 1968. He joined the Skokie Crime Prevention Unit and the State of Illinois Crime Prevention Association (ICPA), eventually rising through the organization to hold the office of state ICPA president. Baran was influential in the statewide expansion of Fleetwatch, a proactive Skokie PD program that enlisted the aid of public work and other village employees in reporting suspicious activities.
In 1989 Baran received the Governor's Award as the top crime prevention officer in the state of Illinois. He was also recruited by the Northeast Multi-Regional Training office to teach crime prevention throughout the state. During his career, he spent countless hours volunteering as McGruff, the Crime Prevention Dog, and participating in events that brought the communities he served in closer together. He retired from the Skokie PD in 1994.
In addition to wearing his law enforcement and military uniforms with pride, he has always served MMA in the same manner. Baran kept MMA close to his heart through the years by serving as Alumni Association president in 1993-94, as well as acting as a longtime volunteer class agent for his Class of 1960. His close connection with classmates has set records for the number of graduates returning for reunions. Baran, along with his classmates, make sure that every fallen classmate is remembered with a Senior Walk brick.
With great pride, MMA recognizes Baran for his accomplishment and selfless service with this Hall of Fame award.
Learn more about the MMA Alumni Hall of Fame awards.