It's no surprise that the Indiana University Police Academy helps launch police officers into successful careers in various levels of law enforcement. What may surprise IU students is the value the Cadet Officer Program brings to careers in social services, law and other fields.
"Right now we have two part-time officers who are in law school," Maj. Stephen Luce, director of the IUPA, said. "They have been working as certified law enforcement officers -- as practitioners -- since graduating from the academy. A lot of attorneys are good prosecutors but they don't have that street experience. Students interested in social work benefit from this experience, too, because it gives them a much better understanding of the criminal justice system."
The Cadet Officer Program, which includes the IUPA, is accepting applications online through Feb. 28. If accepted into the program, IU students will work as cadets beginning next fall and then attend the IUPA the following summer.
The academy is a satellite academy of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Graduates, who complete more than 600 hours of instruction with more than 16 exams, receive accreditation as a state certified law enforcement officer with full police authority. After graduation, they work on their campus part-time as a police officer while completing their undergraduate or graduate degree.
The program is open to IU students and transfer students pursuing any major. Criminal justice majors are common but graduates also have received degrees in informatics, business, sociology, political science, law and other areas.
Luce said the program is particularly suited for students who enjoy being part of a team. The program gives IU graduates a jump on their careers by giving them law enforcement work experience before they even graduate. This is particularly important for students interested in working in federal agencies such as the FBI, which typically expect employees to have experience in more traditional law enforcement.
The Cadet Officer Program also provides part-time work for students while they complete their degrees.
"Everything they do -- if they're working or training, we pay them," Luce said.
More information and a link to the online application are available at Protect IU. This email also lists campus contacts who can provide prospective applicants with more information and help them connect with students on their campus who are already in the program.