Recruiting officers believe that the new academy will bring many positive changes
By Kourtney Burchfield and Tyree Stovall
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY – More than a dozen law enforcement agencies arrived on campus Friday morning looking for new recruits during a police job fair held in the Scruggs Student Center ballroom. The event occurred just weeks after the university became the first HBCU in the country to host a licensed police-training academy – the Lincoln University Law Enforcement Training Academy.
“We are excited to build relationships through Lincoln University and to be part of something new,” said Texas Highway Patrol Sgt. Scott Auth, representing one of about 15 police agencies actively recruiting during Friday’s event. The Texas trooper said his agency strives to be highly diversified and Lincoln’s academy will significantly add to the success of recruiting minority applicants. “The goal is to be as diversified as we possibly can.” Missouri police officers agree.
Closer to home, officers representing the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department are looking to expand minority ranks. “We are always looking to improve diversity in our department,” said Sgt. Shawn Rackhaus, one of two deputies representing the sheriff’s department located just west of St. Louis. He said Lincoln University’s new academy should help improve public perception of police and help change stereotypes. “The new police academy is going to make a change in many communities and put police in a more positive light.”
The Missouri State Highway Patrol aims to do the same. Trooper Kordel Gibson, based at Troop C in Weldon Springs, arrived at LU’s police job fair hoping to recruit minority students for the MSHP’s academy. He noted that the Highway Patrol is looking to significantly expand the agency’s diversity.
“We need more diversity and we are looking for individuals that will make a difference in the community’s they serve,” said Gibson, who began with the MSHP in 2011. He said LU’s new academy is impressive and that it will go a long way in helping law enforcement agencies recruit quality officers.
The Lincoln University Law Enforcement Training Academy is currently being directed by LUPD Chief Gary Hill. “When I went through the academy, I was one of two African-Americans, and for us to have an academy here focused on increasing the diversity in law enforcement so people can feel included is incredible,” said Hill in an interview with The Missouri Times.
“We have to ensure that when we have people enrolled in the academy that we’re giving them all the tools that they need to succeed today and in the future.”
LU Police Recruiting Fair Attendees:
Missouri State Highway Patrol
Johnson County (Kan.) Sheriff’s Dept.
Texas Dept. of Public Safety
City of Sedalia P.D.
Overland Park, (Kan.) P.D.
Callaway County Sheriff’s Office
Boone County Sheriff’s Department
Webster Groves P.D.
St. Louis Metro P.D.
St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department