Police Academy graduates celebrate their successful summer
Academics - posted on 8/14/2006
Lakeland College is doing its part to help a few more students realize their dream of becoming a law enforcement officer.
Lakeland and Lakeshore Technical College partnered this summer to offer a Police Recruit Academy at Lakeland for the first time.
Nine students enjoyed a graduation luncheon on Friday, Aug. 11, at Lakeland, marking the end of the rigorous 13-week, 40-hour-a-week program. These graduates are now certifiable as law enforcement officers in the state of Wisconsin for 24 months.
The graduates were Karen Carillo, Port Washington; Brian Eder, Adell; Matthew Farnsworth, Sheboygan; Amanda Gahagan, Plymouth; Monica Hoey, Sheboygan; Santino Laster, Howards Grove; Fong Lee, Sheboygan; Bryon Vandlen, Monroe; and Samuel Scharinger, Sheboygan.
Administration of the program was led by Brandon Kooi, an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Lakeland College, and David Kotajarvi, Director of Criminal Justice at Lakeshore Technical College.
Instruction was provided by experienced law enforcement instructors who have previously taught the Basic Recruit Police Academy Program through LTC in nearby Cleveland.
The course content came from the State of Wisconsin Law Enforcement Basic Training, a 520-hour curriculum including 272 hours of classroom work and 248 hours of hands-on skill training including defensive tactics, firearms, vehicle contacts and emergency medical services.
LTC approached Lakeland earlier this year about hosting the Academy this summer, and Kooi, who has been successfully working to get numerous regional law enforcement agencies more engaged in Lakeland's criminal justice bachelor's degree program, quickly accepted, making the Academy the latest addition to Lakeland's growing criminal justice program.
"Hosting this Academy on our campus is a natural for us," Kooi said. "It provides a seamless transition for our students who are completing their four-year degree and hoping to land a job in law enforcement.
"Students completing the Lakeland/LTC Police Academy will find they are much more competitive for law enforcement employment across the state."
In the early 1990s, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that included the Public Safety Partnership and Community Policing Act. During the early 1990s local departments received considerable federal funding to hire and train qualified officers, but over time that funding has been decreased or been shifted to other areas.
"The partnership with Lakeland and LTC to offer a summer police academy will help fill some of this void," said Kooi, who is hopeful the Academy will continue to be offered at Lakeland in future summers.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice Training and Standards Bureau recently increased the state standard for police academy certification. Kooi has been attending regular meetings in Madison with the state's Training and Standards Bureau and the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing to institutionalize problem solving skills into policing.
"The students graduating from the first Lakeland College-LTC collaborative summer police academy have received this new training and will be highly recognized by law enforcement departments and the communities they serve," Kooi said.
"This initiative puts Lakeland on the map for not only offering a comprehensive, innovative criminal justice major, but also showing our outreach to technical colleges and commitment to community safety across the state."
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