Central Methodist Partners With Police Academy

Students studying criminal justice at Central Methodist University who are interested in becoming police officers can now get their police academy training at no extra cost while they are in college and get credit at the same time.

CMU this week announced a partnership with the University of Missouri Extension Law Enforcement Training Institute (LETI), allowing qualified CMU students to earn 18 credit hours for their LETI training.

Dr. Rita Gulstad, CMU provost, said the agreement benefits students who hope to become Missouri police officers.

“First, this pays for their police academy training,” Gulstad said. “That is a sizable cost. Second, students will get credit for their training. They will be well-positioned for a job after graduation, already having been through the academy.”

Police Academy Director John Worden said he was looking forward to training CMU students.

“I believe Missouri citizens are the winners with this partnership,” Worden said. “We look forward to having Central Methodist’s high caliber students enroll and graduate from the police academy and become Missouri peace officers.”

Worden thanked Gulstad and CMU criminal justice professor Marco Tapia, and said the collaboration with Central Methodist provides a great opportunity to develop “career-ready law enforcement officers.”

Gulstad said Tapia, a former police officer, did much of the legwork on the agreement. The 18 hours of college credit revolves around four key areas of police academy training. Tapia said the coursework includes:

Legal studies--administrative procedures, constitutional law, Missouri law, Homeland Security, traffic accident investigation, criminal investigation, and juvenile justice.

Interpersonal perspectives and technical studies—ethics and professionalism, domestic violence, human behavior, patrol and jail management, and report writing.

Tactical skill development—defensive tactics, firearms, physical fitness, and driver training.

Medical skill development—emergency medical responder.

Tapia said that in addition to the above-listed areas of study, candidates will be subject to a background check and must pass several areas of physical fitness testing, including a 1.5-mile run, a 2-mile walk/run, pushups, sit-ups, a 300-meter run, sit and reach, vertical jump, and a job task simulation course.

Tapia said he hopes the first LETI graduate from CMU under this new agreement will occur sometime in 2020 or 2021.

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