LCC west campus hosts Police Academy
By Julie Newell
One of the most respected careers in the world is law enforcement. Some of those law enforcement officers get trained at LCC west campus in the Mid-Michigan Police Academy program.
“The Academy is a 17-week introduction to basic skills and 21st century policing,” LCC faculty member James Campbell Jr. said. “We teach recruits the Constitutional laws and the Michigan motor vehicle codes, which allows them to become a police officer in city and county jurisdictions.”
Police Academy recruit Meghan Cole commented on the program.
“One of the strengths of the Police Academy Program is that it brings in officers from surrounding departments to teach many of the courses,” Cole said. “Using the knowledge they have gained through their years of service, these instructors use their personal experiences to educate the recruits. This not only helps in the learning process of becoming a police officer, but it also helps recruits build relationship with officers in the area.”
Cole said she has aspired to be a police officer since she was a young girl.
“Law enforcement has been within my family for generations, and I have always wanted to follow my family’s footsteps,” Cole said. “My twin sister has also had the same goal of becoming a police officer, and it is great being able to go through this process with someone that is so close to me.
“The Mid-Michigan Police Academy is a very strong program, and I am very lucky to have the opportunity to pursue my dreams of becoming a police officer.”
Police Academy recruit Samantha Jones said she joined the program for several reasons.
“I decided to attend this academy because it is a nationally ranked police academy that my future department has very high praise for,” Jones said. “I also love the fact that this academy is a shortened, jam-packed time span on instruction, compared to some other academy’s that are much longer.”
According to Campbell there are a wide variety of classes in the program.
“There are over 700 hours of instruction given in the academy,” Campbell said. “Classes range from Cultural Diversity to Pursuit Driving, Firearms Training, Physical Fitness, Nutrition and Report Writing.”
Class members are taught many skills necessary to become an officer.
“Recruits learn skills on how to interact and converse with the general public,” Campbell said. “They learn how to develop their officer’s discretion and the basic functions of policing, like investigations, fingerprinting and precision driving.”
Cole commented on the current classes she is taking.
“So far in the academy, we have been focusing on legal classes; learning all of the necessary criminal and civil laws,” Cole said. “Another big part of the police academy is participating in scenarios called ‘night problems.’ These scenarios involve life actors and realistic scenarios that prepare us for our future careers.”
Cole and Jones both have plans to join a police department after completing the Police Academy Program.
“I plan to be a patrol officer with the Jackson Police Department,” Jones said. “I plan on gaining experience on road patrol, then continue to further my education and career in law enforcement.”
Cole said she plans to work with her twin sister on the force.
“After completing the Police Academy, I will be beginning my law enforcement career at the Meridian Township Police Department,” Cole said. “I am very excited to be able to stay in the area and be able to work alongside my twin sister.”
For more information about the Mid-Michigan Police Academy click here.