Thirty cadets graduated from Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy on Nov. 7, and new recruits are gearing up to begin their training in January.
Before students join the academy, they must meet all academy requirements before enrolling and being accepted.
Students must pass and complete ten prerequisite classes by January and have an overall GPA of 2.0 to even be considered for the academy.
“When you apply you have to make sure you’ve reached all the requirements, so you have to have your license, CPR certificate, pass the MCOLES, physical, and a reading and writing test. I also had to type a biography,” said Carlos Negron, 21, a newly accepted cadet.
The MCOLES is a physical fitness test that consists of four separate events: vertical jump, sit-ups, pushups, and a one and a half mile shuttle run. This test is no more than 45 dollars and must be completed before the academy begins.
Students also are given a mentor to help guide them through the process. Kyle Macklin, 20, is a recent academy graduate and acted as Negron’s mentor.
“How I see it is, I’m going to do the best I can to prepare them for the academy in the future, because I know they’re going to be my backup when we’re on the road,” Macklin said.
Once accepted, the process doesn’t end for students; they must go through an interview as well.
“The interview process generally consists of four to five people, consisting of officers, lieutenants, chiefs, and the (police academy) director Jodi Richhart. During the interview there is a tape recorder recording you. After the interview, you will receive a letter either accepting or denying you,” Macklin said.
Once training begins, the cadets’ education focus on many different aspects, including firearms, procedural law, ethics, reporting writing, criminal law, and accident investigations.
Besides typical training, cadets also participate in volunteer activities.
“The recruits volunteer many hours of their time to assisting local departments with their in-service police training, where the recruits act as role players and safety officers. This year we did the 26 Acts of Kindness where each squad did an act of kindness every week for the first 26 weeks of the academy,” said Jodi Richhart, Police Academy Director.
On top of the academic requirements, interview process, cadets must not only invest themselves but also their money into this program.
According to the Police Academy Website, pre-application expenses are approximately 200 dollars. The tuition for residents, non-residents, and tuition cost for the police academy program including prerequisite classes is also listed.
For students who are joining the academy without prerequisites, tuition varies based upon residency just like regular classes. For residents, tuition is 4,635.00 dollars while nonresidents pay 9,967.50 dollars.
Residents with prerequisites tuition is 7,828.00 dollars while nonresidents with prerequisites will play 16,834.00 dollars.
As part of the associate degree requirements, students must also do an internship with local law enforcement to further understand what a typical day on the job will consist of.
The 2014 application period is closed but students wishing to apply for 2015 can do so in July.
For further information on the Police Academy, visit grcc.edu/criminaljustice/policeacademy