RMU to host part-time police academy

Malyk Johnson, Assistant News Manager

Robert Morris University will be hosting a part-time police academy in partnership with Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice Training Center.

The academy will begin in August. At the end of the course, students will be able to take their Act 120 certification, which allows them to become municipal police officers within the state of Pennsylvania.

“The university just started a criminal justice program a year or two ago, and the program is quickly growing,” said Director of Public Safety, Randy Mink. “It (the police academy) looks good with the criminal justice program on campus.”

Students who pass the course will also be awarded 18 credits towards a criminal justice degree at Robert Morris. The program includes sessions on firearm safety, hand-to-hand combat, physical and emotional readiness in police officers, as well as CPR and First Aid training. The full program overview can be found here.

“The benefit that they may get from continuing their education is two fold. It’s helping the university and they are getting an education, which is making them an educated police officer. Not that you need to have a bachelor’s to become a police officer or be a good one, but it well rounds you out so that in the law enforcement career it gives you the opportunity to move up in rank.”

Students will attend courses evenings on weekdays and for eight hours on the weekends. Police cadets will be on campus in police uniforms and equipped with a duty belt that will hold a plastic weapon.

“I think that adds a little validity to the program. The class that will be here is going to be a full-time class that will be here all year. The cadets will be in full uniform wearing a duty belt with a plastic gun,” said Mink.  “I think that adds a little bit of prestige and professionalism, a little bit of discipline that they see as a student.”

IUP hosts three different police academies. One at IUP, the other at California University of Pennsylvania and formerly at Carnegie Mellon University. After a mutual agreement to end  CMU’s program, IUP decided to bring the program to RMU.

“We wanted to go towards where most of the population of Western Pennsylvania was moving towards, and that appears to be the Northwest areas from the center of downtown Pittsburgh. So, we wanted to get closer to that northwestern quadrant of Western Pennsylvania, ” said Dennis Marsili, director of IUP’s Criminal Justice Training Center. “The staff at Robert Morris were so accommodating and so cooperative that that made our decision so much easier to go to Robert Morris.”

In addition to the Act 120 course, Robert Morris is also hosting another course for military veterans and military reserves. The course is known as the Act 165 course and takes place over six months, providing the same training as those in the Act 120 course.