Each of the 15 cadets has completed more than the 920 hours of training required to earn Act 120 Municipal Police Officer certification, which is required for employment as a police officer in Pennsylvania.
The second class of cadets will graduate from Cal U’s full-time IUP Police Academy at 6 p.m. June 30.
Washington County District Attorney Eugene A. “Gene” Vittone will address the 15 cadets at a graduation ceremony in the Performance Center, inside the Natali Student Center.
Cal U’s IUP Police Academy is certified by the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC), which sets certification and training standards for Pennsylvania’s municipal police officers. The satellite program is offered in partnership with the Criminal Justice Training Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“This has been a great learning experience and made me confident in my journey to becoming a police officer, which is the only career I can see doing,” said Ian Malone, a sophomore criminal justice major from Bentleyville, Pa.
“One thing that stands out are the instructors, who are still involved in police work, truly care about our success and are passionate about their jobs.”
Program coordinator Dr. Michael Hummel, a professor of criminal justice at Cal U and a part-time police officer, said the level of preparedness for Cal U IUP’s second Police Academy graduates has increased significantly.
Nearly 190 training hours have been added, including scenario-driven evaluated exercises, procedural justice, homeland security and terrorism training, and patrol rifle training.
“We have placed enormous focus on our police academy cadet's professionalism and commitment to serving the residents of our communities, with the highest regard for civil rights and dignity,” Hummel said. “We are very proud of their commitment to serve us all.
“It takes a special courage and love of community to serve in this capacity; this next generation of police officers are prepared to make any sacrifice, to ensure the safety of our citizens."
Kolbe Cunningham, of Connellsville, Pa., graduated in December from Cal U with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He said he benefited from the hands-on experiences at the academy, such as active shooter simulations.
“The program was mentally and physically demanding, but the knowledge I gained through this academy will definitely give me the advantage necessary to succeed in law enforcement today,” he said.
In addition to their Act 120 certification, police academy graduates are awarded 15 college credits. Those who enter the academy without a degree can apply those credits to the B.S. in Criminal Justice or the associate degree in applied policing and technology. Both the bachelor’s and associate degrees programs are available on campus or through Cal U Global Online.
Cal U also offers an M.A. in Social Science: Applied Criminology and a Doctor of Criminal Justice.
Cal U is accepting applications now for its third police academy class. Pre-testing is required to enter the program and classes begin July 26 and meet from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays.