Margaret A. (Penny) Fischer is an Inspector with the Michigan State University Police Department and works in the university's Emergency Management Unit. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University.  She attained her Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1995 and was admitted to the State Bar of Michigan in the same year. F/Lt. Fischer is currently attending Michigan State University’s School of Criminal Justice in pursuit of her Ph.D. with an anticipated graduation in Summer 2011.  F/Lt. Fischer is a recent graduate of the FBI's National Academy (233rd Session).

Pursuant to her duties within the Emergency Management Division of the police department Penny is currently working on emergency planning and creating a unique interdisciplinary committee within each building comprising key academic faculty or researchers with police, fire, building maintenance and evacuation team members to address short and long term protection for vital research initiatives at the university.

Penny has served on various committees including the Women’s Advisory Committee to the Vice President for Finance and Operations, Anti-Discrimination Judicial Board and the Human Resource Mentoring Initiative Committee for Support Staff. She is a graduate of the Big Ten’s Committee on Institutional Cooperation, Academic Leadership Program. She has made presentations to a number of organizations on mentoring and created a mentoring program in her department to promote retention and recruitment efforts, one of the first of its kind in Michigan for law enforcement. 

F/Lt. Fischer has been a member of NAWLEE since 1999. In 2002, she was named the Mentoring Program Coordinator and held that position until 2004, when she was elected to the Executive Board, where she currently serves as Treasurer. F/Lt. Fischer instructs around the country on a variety of topics, including mentoring, and has authored articles on training issues and legal decisions for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. She is also a member of a Legal Instructors Cadre for the State of Michigan that meets to discuss legal training issues for all of the state’s police academies and is working with the Michigan Council on Law Enforcement Standards (M-COLES) to update the testing procedures for law enforcement academy recruits on legal issues. Penny also frequently writes a legal update article for NAWLEE’s newsletter.