CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Oct. 25, 2012 — Students completing the 720-hour Law Enforcement Academy at Southeast Missouri State University may now receive college credit for their efforts.
Students may now gain 24 hours of college credit while at the same time earning full law enforcement certification from the Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission (P.O.S.T.) of the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
The 24 hours of college credit includes four six-hour courses: LE199 Law Enforcement I, LE299 Law Enforcement II, LE 399 Law Enforcement III and LE499 Law Enforcement IV. The Law Enforcement Academy is dedicated to meeting the training needs of all law enforcement officers and agencies in the University’s service area. The Academy is a Missouri Peace officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) approved provider, offering basic and specialized training for more than 2,500 law enforcement officers since its inception in 1987.
Carl Kinnison, director of the Law Enforcement Academy, said the Academy is following a trend among other law enforcement academies nationally and in Missouri that have begun offering college credit for academy training. As a result, potential Academy students, he said, began asking about the possibility of acquiring college hours as part of their Academy training.
“This allows Southeast students to acquire the state peace officer certification as part of their college education, which makes them much more marketable when they graduate,” Kinnison said. “To be able to graduate with a Bachelor of Science, as well as graduate from a state certified Academy at about the same time, works out very well for the students.”
In the past, Kinnison said, a few students have taken Academy coursework for credit as an internship or independent study, but this is the first time specific courses have been identified and developed for the Academy training.
Academy training covers topics such as constitutional law, criminal investigations, patrol procedures, medical first responder, firearms, defensive tactics and ground fighting, law enforcement driving, traffic enforcement and investigations, domestic violence, juvenile law, tactical communications and jail procedures.
To have full law enforcement certification from the Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, candidates must complete at least 600 hours of training at an approved law enforcement academy. In addition to the 600 hours mandated by P.O.S.T., the Academy officer an additional 120 hours of training for a total of 720 hours. The additional 120 hours covers topics such as patrol rifle, TASER, hostage negotiations, datamaster certification and others.
Training is provided by instructors who are professionals with many years of practical law enforcement experience with local, state and federal agencies, and a strong academic background. They use the latest in adult learning techniques and strategies.
The Academy is offered in two formats: a weekday, Monday through Friday course which is non-credit bearing, and a weekend course. Both lead to Class A Certification. The weekend courses, however, are credit bearing courses included as part of the Bachelor of Science in criminal justice program with the law enforcement option.
The weekday Academy lasts 18 weeks and runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday. The weekday format is offered twice a year with one class beginning in January and the other in July. The weekend Academy lasts about 10 months and meets from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday nights, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Candidates seeking admission to the Academy must: be 21 years old upon certification, complete an Academy application, have no DWI convictions in the last three years, submit a $100 non-refundable registration fee that is applied to the applicant’s tuition and fees; have no felony convictions or a conviction for a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; and submit to a criminal record check conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the FBI. Kennett, Mo., Academy candidates must also complete and submit a University paper application.