Police departments and other branches of law enforcement have provided dedicated support to the Special Olympics since its earliest days. It’s an honor they carry with distinction and pride.
On November 10, 8 cadets from the Temple University Municipal Police Academy had the chance to be a part of that tradition during Special Olympics Fall Festival 2017. Temple’s Police Academy training takes place at the Ambler Campus.
“Chief David Duffy of the Upper Gwynedd Police Department spoke to the cadet class about the opportunity. Class Lt. Dan Bocanumenth, who has been hired by the Upper Merion Police Department, talked about it with his fellow cadets and eight said they would like to be a part of the Special Olympics program this year,” said Chris Willard, Director of the Temple University Municipal Police Academy, Assistant Director of Criminal Justice Training Programs, and coordinator for the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program (SLETP). “They were given this wonderful opportunity to participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Procession during the Opening Ceremonies and supported the athletes as they came into the stadium ready to compete!”
Willard said of the 20 cadets that comprise the current police academy class, two are military veterans and eight have already been hired by departments — two with the Exeter Police Department in Berks County, two with Amtrak and one with Quakertown, Norristown, Abington and Upper Merion. The current cadet class will graduate in February 2018.
According to Willard, Temple’s police academy cadets are often given opportunities to serve the community, from participating in Veterans Day, 9/11 and police memorial ceremonies to attending to the somber occasion of honoring officers who have fallen in the line of duty. Cadets, she said, have also provided agencies essential assistance in evidence searches.
“Law enforcement isn’t just about doing your 8 and going home. I think this experience gave our cadets the opportunity to realize how it is to be a part of the community in which they serve,” she said. “We emphasize enforcement through education. We want our students to appreciate and take pride in the profession they are entering — we want them to realize the great responsibility they are being charged with.”
Willard said she speaks to the cadets a great deal about the importance of tradition in law enforcement.
“Law enforcement has had a longstanding tradition of supporting the Special Olympics. This was the first time our cadets had the chance to be a part of these traditions and experience these community connections firsthand,” she said. “For the community, I think it’s beneficial to see police officers as people and fellow community members. For the officers it’s certainly a benefit to engage the community in a social, celebratory setting.”
Criminal Justice Training Programs (CJTP) has conducted professional training programs for a variety of criminal justice agencies and occupations since 1968. Today, more than 3,000 criminal justice professionals attend programs offered by CJTP each year including police officers, deputy sheriffs, state constables, legislative security officers, magisterial district court staff, school resource officers, park rangers and crime prevention specialists. Other activities include continuing education programs for agencies allied to the criminal justice system and the development of curricula including distance-learning and online classes.
CJTP also offers the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program (SLETP), which is a key component of ProRanger Philadelphia, a partnership between Temple University and the National Park Service to train park rangers. Temple University Ambler is one of only seven institutions in the country to offer SLETP while Temple is just one of two sites to offer the ProRanger program — Temple is the only university to offer both.
Temple University Municipal Police Academy Class 18-01 is now accepting applications for the January 2018 class. The application deadline is Friday, December 15. The Academy will run from January 8 through June 15. Applications may be completed online.
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