They arrived at the IU Bloomington classroom Monday morning as 45 IU students from every campus, with many different majors and backgrounds, and then they began their Indiana University Police Academy journey as one team -- the 46th Class.
"You are part of a brotherhood, a sisterhood, that could last for years," said 1995 IUPA alumnus Benjamin Hunter, associate vice president for public safety and institutional assurance; superintendent of public safety. "Make good decisions. We want you to be successful."
"I can honestly say, in all truth, that this was the best summer I've had in my entire life," said 1994 IUPA alumna Jill Lees, addressing her first academy class in her new position as IUPD-Bloomington chief. "Study, lift each other up, give 110 percent."
"You don't have to be the smartest or the strongest, but you have to be your personal best," said 1981 IUPA alumna Maj. Laury Flint, director of community engagement and threat assessment for IUPD. "Look around you -- this is your team, now. Take care of each other."
The recruits heard in no uncertain terms that the program is supposed to be stressful, that they move forward as a team, and if they have a problem, they should let the leadership know before it becomes insurmountable. Not everybody makes it through the academy -- but there's always a first.
"If there are any issues, anything that you need, big or small, make sure you reach out," Hunter said.
Their words -- and the fact that the IUPD command staff took the time to address the class on its first day -- was not lost on the recruits, who met and shook hands with top IUPD leadership.
Kentrell Harris, a public safety management major at IUPUI, said the speakers made him feel welcomed with their smiles and handshakes. Soledad Garcia and John Hale, criminal justice majors from IU South Bend and IUPUC, respectively, agreed.
"It says a lot about the culture here, to meet the command staff," Hale said. "It shows that they want us to succeed."
The IUPA is a satellite academy of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Over 14 weeks, recruits receive education and training on more than 90 topics, totaling 600 hours of instruction with more than 16 exams. Some of the material covered includes federal and state laws, procedural justice, investigation procedures, physical tactics, medical aid, emergency vehicle operations, Fair and Impartial Policing and numerous other topics. Graduates receive accreditation as
At their graduation ceremony, recruits are sworn in as IUPD officers and most work part-time for their campus while completing their IU degrees.